Week 1 Homework
Assume that you recently graduated and have just reported to work as an investment advisor at the brokerage firm of Balik and Kiefer Inc. One of the firm’s clients is Michelle DellaTorre, a professional tennis player who has just come to the United States from Chile. DellaTorre is a highly ranked tennis player who would like to start a company to produce and market apparel she designs. She also expects to invest substantial amounts of money through Balik and Kiefer.
DellaTorre is very bright, and she would like to understand in general terms what will happen to her money. Your boss has developed the following set of questions you must answer to ex- plain the U.S. financial system to DellaTorre.
a. Why is corporate finance important to all managers?
b. Describe the organizational forms a company might have as it evolves from a start-up to a major corporation. List the advantages and disadvantages of each form.
Answer: Many companies begin as a proprietorship, which is an unincorporated business owned by one individual. Starting a business as a proprietor is easy—one merely begins business operations after obtaining any required city or state business licenses. The proprietorship has three important advantages: (1) it is easily and inexpensively formed, (2) it is subject to few government regulations, and (3) its income is not subject to corporate taxation but is taxed as part of the proprietor’s personal income.
However, the proprietorship also has three important limitations: (1) it may be difficult for a proprietorship to obtain the capital needed for growth; (2) the proprietor has unlimited personal liability for the business’s debts, which can result in losses that exceed the money invested in the company (creditors may even be able to seize a proprietor’s house or other personal property!); and (3) the life of a proprietorship is limited to the life of its founder. For these three reasons, sole proprietorships...