What Are the Main Advantages of a Sole Proprietorship? by Edward A. Haman, Esq.

What Are the Main Advantages of a Sole Proprietorship?

While forming an LLC has its benefits, depending on your needs and situation, there are also advantages to setting up a sole proprietorship.

by Edward A. Haman, Esq.
updated September 04, 2020 · 3 min read

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Many experts advise the formation of an LLC or a corporation for the purpose of protecting personal assets from business obligations or potential lawsuits 

Although there may be good reasons to use another form of business organization, there are also advantages to going it alone with a sole proprietorship. 

You Are in Control

Do you want to be the sole decision-maker, or would you be more comfortable having one or more co-owners to help with the decision-making?

Owners of sole proprietorships are in complete control of their business.

They not need to seek the approval or consent of any partners, members, officers, directors, or shareholders, as you would need to do if you had a partnership, LLC, or corporation.

Simplified and Less Costly Organization

To form a business as a sole proprietorship there are no forms to complete and no government fees to pay.

Forming a general partnership typically doesn't require any government forms, but it is advisable to have a formal partnership agreement in order to outline the rights and duties of the partners and resolve any disputes that may arise. Other forms of business organization may require filing some federal and state government forms, and paying significant fees.

For example, in certain situations, a limited partnership may come under the authority of securities laws and their disclosure requirements. An LLC or corporation will require formation documents to be filed with the appropriate state agency, and the payment of filing fees.

If you decide to operate your sole proprietorship under a business name that is separate from your name (typically called an assumed name, a fictitious name, or a doing business as [d/b/a] name), there usually will be a fairly simple state government form and a small fee to pay.

Privacy

Since a sole proprietorship does not file any formation documents or annual reports with the federal or state governments, your business operations are not subject to public disclosure like an LLC or corporation.

Minimal to No Reporting Requirements

A sole proprietorship does not need to file an annual report with the state or federal governments. In most cases, partnerships do not need to file an annual report; however, LLCs and corporations will be required by law to conduct certain meetings of members or shareholders, and file certain reports with the state government.

Simplified Tax Reporting

The sole proprietorship tax advantages are simplified reporting requirements and not having to pay separate taxes for the business.

A sole proprietorship does not need to file any special tax forms with the state or federal government. Generally, the only tax form a sole proprietor will file with the IRS is a Schedule C (Profit or Loss from a Business) as part of their annual Form 1040.

With a partnership, business profits and losses must be divided among the partners, and reported to the IRS. All partners must report their share of the partnership profit or loss on their tax returns.

With a small LLC or a corporation, you can make an election to have the profits taxed as if it were a sole proprietorship or partnership. If this election is not made, the LLC or corporation itself may need to file tax returns (and pay a separate taxes), with the shareholders also paying taxes on their share of the profits.

Organizing your business as a sole proprietorship has several advantages. However, this decision should take into consideration all of your circumstances, including whether you will need others to invest in your business, your personal asset protection needs, and your tax situation.

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Edward A. Haman, Esq.

About the Author

Edward A. Haman, Esq.

Edward A. Haman is a freelance writer, who is the author of numerous self-help legal books. He has practiced law in Hawa… Read more