Comparison Table of Structures

  Sole Trader Partnership Private Company Unit Trust Discretionary Trust Superannuation Fund
Administered by Individual Partners Directors Trustee Trustee Trustee
Responsible to N/a Partners Shareholders Unit holders Appointer Members
Cost to establish and run Low Fairly low Higher Higher Medium Higher
Protection of assets from outside risks/claims No No Not personal negligence or if trading insolvent Not personal negligence, and individual trustee(s) Not personal negligence, and individual trustee(s) Yes
Maximum tax rate Up to 47% plus Medicare levy Up to 47% plus  Medicare or 30% if Partner is a Company 30% if profit retained. All dividends and wages up to 47% plus medicare. Up to 47% or if unit holder is company 30% only on profit retained. Up to 47% or 30% if able  to distribute to a company and profit retained 15% if a complying fund (47% if non- complying)
Potential for splitting income No Between partners Between shareholders Between unit holders Between beneficiaries No, but reduces members tax
Streaming of income No limited No Dependent on trust deed Yes, subject to trust deed No
Taxable capital gains Paid by individual paid by partners Paid by company Paid by unit holder Paid by beneficiaries Paid by trustee
Access to CGT discount for assets held greater than12 months Yes Yes No Yes, as long as not paid to company Yes, as long as not paid to company. Yes
Other realised capital profits Not taxed Not taxed Taxed as an unfranked dividend to shareholder May be taxed as capital gain Not taxed 15%in a complying
Can losses be distributed? Yes Yes No No No No
Interest-free loan to relatives Not taxed as income Not taxed as income May be taxed as deemed dividend Not taxed as income Not taxed as income Not permitted
Flexibility Poor Fairly poor Fair Good Very good Fairly poor
Admission for new parties New structure is required Usually permitted Usually permitted Usually permitted May be difficult for non family members Usually permitted
Changing ownership N/a Partnership interest Shares Units By appointer n/a