What is a sole proprietorship? – This is a business venture that one person owns and manages without incorporation. If you want to professionalize your business, one of the best ways to do it is to make your business a sole proprietorship. This business structure is one of the simplest, and the business and the owner are not legally separate. If the business faces a legal problem, the owner will have to bear the responsibility.
In this article, you will learn what a sole proprietorship business is and how it works in general. You will also learn from this article whether a this business structure is the right option for you or not. Finally, we will discuss the major pros and cons of this type of business, which will help you decide better. Hence, to learn more about sole proprietorship, read on through to the end of the article.
What Is A Sole Proprietorship?
According to Investopedia,
“A sole proprietorship is an unincorporated business that has just one owner who pays personal income tax on profits earned from the business. Many sole proprietors do business under their own names because creating a separate business or trade name isn’t necessary. Also referred to as a sole trader or a proprietorship, a sole proprietorship is the easiest type of business to establish or take apart due to a lack of government regulation.”
If you are a business owner or an entrepreneur and want to remain that way, a sole proprietorship is the best option for you. This business structure is also popular among individual self-contractors and business consultants. Almost every small business starts as a sole proprietorship. Most of them either retain the structure or change the structure to a Limited Liability Company or a Corporation. To form a corporation, you need to incorporate your business.
One of the major disadvantages of sole proprietorship is that they do not get protection from the government. This is because these businesses are not registered as corporations. This means that the liabilities and risks of the business extend to the owners of the business.
Furthermore, sole proprietors also report their income as well as their expenses on the tax returns that they make personally. In addition to that, these owners also pay income and self-employment taxes on their profits.
How Does A Sole Proprietorship Work?
According to the Corporate Finance Institute,
“The business owner, also known as a proprietor or a trader, conducts business using their legal name. They may also choose to do business using another name by registering a trade name with their local authority. This type of business is the easiest and cheapest form to start. For this reason, it is common among small businesses, freelancers, and other self-employed individuals.”
Your sole proprietorship begins when you start conducting your business. You will not need to fill out federal and state forms or do not have any regulatory burdens for your business. This is one of the best options for people who are starting a business or are self-employed.
To explain through an example, as a sole proprietor, you are responsible for the debts of your business. On the other hand, you will also own the profits of your business if it thrives.
Is Sole Proprietorship A Good Option For You?
The Forbes Advisor adds –
“If you start taking on freelance contracts, for example, you are now working as a sole proprietor. And you and your business are one and the same. Because of the simple nature of sole proprietorships, they’re the most common form of business in the U.S. Sole proprietors may choose to convert their small businesses to LLCs or corporations, but they also might keep their side hustle as a sole proprietorship for as long as they work on it.”
Since you do not have to pay any fees to form your business, the sole proprietorship is the easiest way to start your business. Furthermore, there is no filing process as well, which lets you start your operations immediately. You can also quickly legitimize your side hustle since it is inexpensive and easy to start your business.
If entrepreneurship is your way, then this is the ideal business structure for you. You are only responsible for yourself, as well as the continued operation of your business.
What Are The Pros And Cons Of Sole Proprietorship?
The following are the major pros and cons of sole proprietorships:
Here are a few pros of sole proprietorship from which you shall benefit:
- There are tax advantages as there is only a single layer of income tax that you will need to pay. There are also high chances for you to get tax breaks from the government.
- You will also not need to fill out tremendous paperwork to register with the state. However, you will need to get licenses and permits.
- Since you do not need to get an Employer Identification Number (EIN), the tax process is simple.
- You can conduct your finances from your personal account. The fees and costs associated are also less.
Here are a few cons that you must be aware of:
- Unlike registered businesses, you will not get legal protection from the government.
- Due to unlimited liability in the business, you will have difficulty getting capital funding in some situations.
What is a sole proprietorship? – That is, there is only one owner, and the business remains unincorporated. Here, the owner needs to pay personal income tax on whatever profits are made, and the business by itself is not required to pay taxes, as in the case of a C-corporation. Most businesses start as sole proprietorship and transition later.
It is easy to form, establish, and dismantle a sole proprietorship due to limited involvement from the government. This makes the business structure popular among small business owners. Do you have any more to add regarding how this works? Share your thoughts and ideas with us in the comments section below.