I want to open an online tea shop but the wholesale company I will be purchasing the tea from requires my business be a sole proprietorship. Which is fine. Can you have a sole proprietorship business as an llc so that if something happens with the product itself i'm not held responsible for the tea I purchase from the wholesaler?

Jeffrey Lippman ∙ July 15, 2019

To be candid, the premise of the question doesn't make sense. A LLC definitionally is not a sole proprietorship. It is a separate entity with a tax ID number. Sole Proprietorships offer no liability protection. It's just a fancy way of saying I'm in business. A LLC can be taxed as a sole proprietorship but I cannot imagine why a 3rd party supplier would be involved in this decision. I strongly recommend you set up a consultation with your LegalZoom provider firm.

Jeffrey Lippman's offices are located in Leesburg, Virginia. Mr. Lippman is licensed to practice law in the District of Columbia and the state of Maryland, and his comments may only apply to those jurisdictions. If your question applies to a different jurisdiction you should check with an attorney in that jurisdiction. The information is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for individual advice regarding your own situation. Answering this question does not in any way constitute legal representation and any information you provide is not protected by attorney-client privilege.


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