a. Corporate finance is a basic component of how a business is run. All managers should keep this in mind to direct funds to the optimal division or product in a company. In addition, managers should understand how their company is financed and whether it has a risk of bankruptcy. Conversely, managers should understand if the equity in the business is undervalued and has the potential to grow. Corporate finance provides the skills managers need to: (1) identify and select the corporate strategies and individual projects that add value to their firm; and (2) forecast the funding requirements of their company, and devise strategies for acquiring those funds.
b. The three main forms of business organization are (1) sole proprietorships, (2) partnerships, and (3) corporations. In addition, several hybrid forms are gaining popularity. These hybrid forms are the limited partnership, the limited liability partnership, the professional corporation, and the s corporation. The proprietorship has three important advantages: (1) it is easily and inexpensively formed, (2) it is subject to few government regulations, and (3) the business pays no corporate income taxes. The proprietorship also has three important limitations: (1) it is difficult for a proprietorship to obtain large sums of capital; (2) the proprietor has unlimited personal liability for the business’s debts, and (3) the life of a business organized as a proprietorship is limited to the life of the individual who created it. The major advantage of a partnership is its low cost and ease of formation. The disadvantages are similar to those associated with proprietorships: (1) unlimited liability, (2) limited life of the organization, (3) difficulty of transferring ownership, and (4) difficulty of raising large amounts of capital. The tax treatment of a partnership is similar to that for proprietorships, which is often an advantage. The corporate form of business has three major advantages: (1) unlimited life, (2) easy transferability of ownership interest, and (3) limited liability. While the corporate form offers significant advantages over proprietorships and partnerships, it does have two primary disadvantages: (1) corporate earnings may be subject to double taxation and (2) setting up a corporation and filing the many required state and federal reports is more complex and time-consuming than for a proprietorship or a partnership.In a limited partnership, the limited partners are liable only for the amount of their investment in the partnership; however, the limited partners typically have no control. The limited liability partnership form of organization combines the limited liability advantage of a corporation with the tax advantages of a partnership. Professional corporations provide most of the benefits of incorporation but do not relieve the participants of professional liability. S corporations are similar in many ways to limited liability partnerships, but LLPS frequently offer more flexibility and benefits to their owners.
c. A company goes public when it sells stock to the public in an initial public as the firm grows, it might issue additional stock or debt. An agency problem occurs when the managers of the firm act in their own interests and not in the interests of the shareholders.
d. The corporation’s primary goal is stockholder wealth maximization, which translates to maximizing the price of the firm’s common stock.
D1. Firms have an ethical responsibility to provide a safe working environment, to avoid polluting the air or water, and to produce safe products. However, the most significant cost-increasing actions will have to be put on a mandatory rather than a voluntary basis to ensure that the burden falls uniformly on all businesses.
D2. The same actions that maximize stock prices also benefit society. Stock price maximization requires efficient, low-cost operations that produce high-quality goods and services at the