Sole proprietorship
A sole proprietorship, also known as the sole trader or simply a proprietorship, is a type of business entity that is owned and run by one individual and in which there is no legal distinction between the owner and the business. The owner receives all profits (subject to taxation specific to the business) and has unlimited responsibility for all losses and debts. Every asset of the business is owned by the proprietor and all debts of the business are the proprietor's. This means that the owner has no less liability than if they were acting as an individual instead of as a business. It is a "sole" proprietorship in contrast with partnership
A partnership is an arrangement where parties agree to cooperate to advance their mutual interests.Since humans are social beings, partnerships between individuals, businesses, interest-based organizations, schools, governments, and varied combinations thereof, have always been and remain commonplace...


A sole proprietor may use a trade name
Trade name
A trade name, also known as a trading name or a business name, is the name which a business trades under for commercial purposes, although its registered, legal name, used for contracts and other formal situations, may be another....

 or business name other than his or her legal name. In many jurisdictions there are rules to enable the true owner of a business name to be ascertained. In the United States there is generally a requirement to file a doing business as
Doing business as
The phrase "doing business as" is a legal term used in the United States, meaning that the trade name, or fictitious business name, under which the business or operation is conducted and presented to the world is not the legal name of the legal person who actually own it and are responsible for it...

statement with the local authorities. In the United Kingdom the proprietor's name must be displayed on business stationery, in business emails and at business premises, and there are other requirements.


There are many advantages of corporation
A corporation is created under the laws of a state as a separate legal entity that has privileges and liabilities that are distinct from those of its members. There are many different forms of corporations, most of which are used to conduct business. Early corporations were established by charter...

s that are described in that article; chiefly they are the ability to raise capital either publicly or privately, to limit the personal liability of the officers and managers, and to limit risk to investors


Raising capital for a proprietorship is more difficult because an unrelated investor has less peace of mind concerning the use and security of his or her investment and the investment is more difficult to formalize; other types of business entities have more documentation.

As a business becomes successful, the risks accompanying the business tend to grow. One of the main disadvantages of sole proprietors is unlimited liability
Sole Trader Insolvency
According to the Office for National Statistics, sole proprietors represented 23.8% of all UK enterprise in 2010. Of that number, more than half a million sole traders were operating via the PAYE or VAT system alone. Sole traders are a distinct legal entity, operating as one type of UK business...

 where the owner's personal assets can be taken away. This is particularly true for doing or liabilities created by employees; a corporation only partially shields an owner or officer for his own actions according to the principle of piercing the corporate veil
Piercing the corporate veil
Piercing the corporate veil or lifting the corporate veil is a legal decision to treat the rights or duties of a corporation as the rights or liabilities of its shareholders or directors. Usually a corporation is treated as a separate legal person, which is solely responsible for the debts it...

. Also, being alone in business, sole proprietors generally lack money which leads to failure . The small size of the business limits the breadth of management skills because there are fewer people working together. As employees generally seek stable employers, small independent businesses that have a high chance of failing have more difficulty attracting skilled people.  Lack of continuity. The enterprise may be crippled or terminated if the owner becomes ill or dies.
 Relative difficulty obtaining long-term financing. Because the enterprise rests exclusively on one person, it often has difficulty raising long-term capital.


Holding everything else constant, small corporations are less creditworthy than small noncorporate firms, because the former have only the corporation’s assets to back up business debt whilst the latter have both the firm’s assets and the owner’s personal assets. Lenders also know, however, that owners of small corporations can easily shift assets between their personal accounts and their corporations’ accounts, so they may not view the corporate/noncorporate distinction
as meaningful for small firms. In making loans to small corporations, lenders therefore may
require that owners personally guarantee the loans. This abolishes the legal distinction between
corporations and their owners for purposes of a particular loan, and puts the owner’s personal
assets at risk to repay the loan.
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