A sole proprietorship, also known as a sole tradership, individual entrepreneurship or proprietorship, is a type of enterprise owned and lập cập by one person and in which there is no legal distinction between the owner and the business entity. A sole trader does not necessarily work alone and may employ other people.
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The sole trader receives all profits (subject lớn taxation specific lớn 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 that of the proprietor; the business is not a separate legal entity. The arrangement is a "sole" proprietorship in contrast with a partnership, which has at least two owners.
Sole proprietors may use a trade name or business name other than vãn their or its legal name. They may have lớn trademark their business name legally if it differs from their own legal name, with the process varying depending upon country of residence.
Advantages and disadvantages
Registration of a business name for a sole proprietor is generally uncomplicated unless it involves the selection of a name that is fictitious, or assumed. In many countries, the business owner is required lớn register with the appropriate local authorities, who will determine that the name submitted is not duplicated by another business entity.
The owner may hire employees and enlist the services of independent consultants. Although an employee or consultant may be requested by the owner lớn complete a specific project, or participate in the company's decision-making process, their contribution lớn the project or decision is considered a recommendation under the law. Under the legal doctrine respondeat superior (Latin: "let the master answer"), the legal liability for any business decision arising from such a contribution remains upon the owner and cannot be renounced or apportioned.
This is transposed by the unlimited liability attached lớn a sole proprietary business. The owner carries the financial responsibility for all debts and/or losses suffered by the business, lớn the extent of using personal or other assets lớn discharge any outstanding liabilities. Thus the owner of a sole proprietorship may be forced lớn use his/her personal holdings, such as his/her xế hộp, lớn pay the debts. The owner is exclusively liable for all business activities conducted by the sole proprietorship and, accordingly, entitled lớn full control and all earnings associated with it.
Rules for sole proprietorships in various countries
In the Netherlands, a sole trader is called a "ZZPer", and must register with the Chamber of Commerce and get a VAT ID.
In Ireland, a sole trader who wishes lớn trade using a business name other than vãn their true surname must register that name with the Companies Registration Office (CRO).
Registration of sole proprietorships
In Malaysia, there are three laws governing the registration and administration of sole proprietors:-
- Heyuu West Malaysia and the Federal Territory of Labuan: Registration of Business Act 1956 (Act 197);
- Sarawak: Businesses, Professions and Trade Licensing Ordinance [Sarawak Chapter 33]; and Business Names Ordinance for the State of Sarawak [Sarawak Chapter 64] and
- Sabah: Trades Licensing Ordinance for the State of Sabah [Sabah Chapter 144].
In West Malaysia, the registration of sole proprietors come under the purview of the Companies Commission of Malaysia (Suruhanjaya Syarikat Malaysia, abbreviated as SSM). In Sabah and Sarawak (with the exception of Kuching), the registrations of businesses are done at the local authorities (e.g. municipal councils or district offices) while in Kuching, sole proprietors are registered with the Kuching Office of the Malaysian Inland Revenue Board.
Sole proprietors, which includes the self-employed, must register with the relevant authority within thirty days from the commencement of their business. Sole proprietors may register their business using one of two names: their legal name following the registrant's identity thẻ or a trade name. Registration of a business lasts for either one or two years, and must be renewed thirty days before its expiry.
In the sự kiện of termination of business, the proprietor has thirty days from the termination date lớn tệp tin the notice with the relevant authority. If the termination is caused by the death of the proprietor, the administrators of the estate have four months from the death date lớn tệp tin a notice of termination.
Goods and services tax (GST)
Sole proprietors must register with the Royal Malaysian Customs Department lớn charge and collect goods and services tax (GST) once their taxable turnover within a 12 month-period exceeds RM500,000.
Sole proprietors as employers
Similar lớn other Common Law jurisdiction, proprietors may enter into contracts of employment and/or apprenticeship with their employees. Sole proprietors, as employers are responsible to:
- Make contribution lớn their employees' Employees Provident Fund; and
- Pay contribution lớn their employees' Social Security.
In năm nhâm thìn, the SSM took legal action against 478 online businesses who failed lớn register their businesses, whether as sole proprietors, partnerships, or private limited companies. As at May 12, 2017, a total of 50,882 online businesses have registered with the SSM since năm ngoái.
Sole traders in New Zealand must notify the Inland Revenue Department that they are trading and must register for Goods and Services Tax purposes if their income exceeds $60,000 per year. Sole traders may obtain a unique New Zealand Business Number (NZBN), which any business in New Zealand can use lớn identify the business in commercial relationships and dealings with government.
A sole trader is the simplest type of business structure defined in UK law. It refers lớn an individual who owns their own business and retains all the profits from it. When starting up, sole traders must complete a straightforward registration with HM Revenue and Customs as self-employed for tax and National Insurance purposes. They are responsible for maintaining the business's records and submitting an annual tax return for all income from self-employment and other work. If revenue is expected lớn be more than vãn £85,000 a year, they must also register for Value Added Tax. A sole trader can employ staff, but is personally responsible for any losses the business makes.
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Becoming a sole trader is relatively simple compared lớn other business structures. It can rapidly enable a business lớn begin trading; the requirements for record-keeping are far more straightforward than vãn other business structures. Sole traders make all operational decisions and are solely responsible for raising business finance. They can invest their own capital into the business, or may be able lớn access business loans and/or overdrafts. Unlike limited companies or partnerships, it is not necessary lớn share decision-making or the profits.
Unlike many other business entities, the sole proprietorship lacks a clear distinction between personal and business income. The business owner is personally liable for income tax and National Insurance contributions due on the business profits in each tax year. They are also personally liable for any debts the business incurs. Business analysts may advise sole traders lớn size a limited company in order lớn access greater levels of financing, for example for expansion plans. This can limit their personal liability, and business lenders may be more inclined lớn co-operate with a limited company. It can also be the case that within certain industries it is easier lớn secure work if presenting potential business partners with a limited company structure.
In the United States, there are no formalities that must be followed lớn start a sole proprietorship or commence business as a sole proprietor. However, depending upon the business activity of the sole proprietorship, sole proprietors may require licenses and permits in order lớn conduct business.
According lớn the Small Business Administration (SBA) a sole proprietor and their business are considered as one and the same; therefore, the business is not subjected lớn separate taxation and regarded as the direct income of the owner. Income, losses and expenses may be listed on a Schedule C, which is then transferred lớn the personal tax return of the owner. It is the responsibility of the owner lớn ensure all due income taxes and self-employment contributions are paid.
A permitted exception lớn the sole proprietor (single owner) stipulation is made by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) permitting the spouse of a sole proprietor lớn work for the business. They are not classified as partners in the enterprise, or an independent contractor, enabling the business lớn retain its sole proprietorship status and not be required lớn submit a partnership income tax return. If an individual elects lớn incorporate as a Limited liability company but elects lớn be taxed as a Corporation, the IRS no longer recognizes the individual as a sole proprietorship.
Foundation and development
The setting-up process of a sole proprietorship lớn comply with local laws and regulations, is obtainable from the Small Business Development Center (SBDC), using their locator facility. A sole proprietor must be prepared lớn devote their time, utilizing business methods towards establishing a sound and appropriate foundation. Doing ví may contribute lớn increased turnover, profits, minimize taxes, and avoid other potential adversities.
Sole owners are engaged in many varieties of industry and commerce and a comprehensive list of the primary categories, is found in the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS). The selection of a business type by a new sole proprietor is in many instances, motivated by appropriate business experience in a particular field, especially those pertaining lớn enterprises involving the marketing and selling of defined products and services.
A crucial component of a sole proprietorship within a business plan is the provision of an inherent guideline, for actions that require implementing for a business lớn achieve growth. The business name and products are critical aspects in the founding of a sole proprietorship and once selected, should be protected. In the sự kiện of a determined brand name being legalized, information regarding trademark protection is available from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
For the sole proprietor there are a variety of options in obtaining financial tư vấn for their business, including loan facilities available from the U.S. Small Business Administration. The loans are not originated by the SBA, but the administration does guarantee loans made by various independent lending institutions. The primary loan facility for small businesses offered by this agency is the 7(a) loan program, designed for general applications. Sole proprietors are able lớn finance legitimate operating expenses; for example, working capital, furniture, leasehold improvements and building renovations.
Many and varied private organizations and individuals seek opportunities lớn invest and fund a business that may not qualify for traditional financing from institutions, such as banks. For the sole proprietor, seeking lớn take advantage of this facility, there are various factors that must be understood and adhered lớn regarding the loan application.
The Small Business Administration (SBA) advises there are traditionally two forms of financing: debt and equity. For any small business owner seeking funding, they must consider the debt-to-equity ratio of their enterprise. This means the inter-action between the sum of dollars borrowed and the financial dollars invested in the business. The mathematics are simple; greater the finance invested by sole proprietors in their business; easier the obtaining of finance! The SBA statistics show that the majority of small enterprises favor the use of limited equity financing; for example, friends and relatives.
According lớn the SBA, there are various private organizations prepared lớn fund sole proprietor business operations that vì thế not qualify for traditional financing from banks. These private investors can provide loans, credit lines, leasing facilities for equipment, or other forms of capital, lớn sole proprietorship that have exhausted alternative financial resources. It is also possible for these owners lớn obtain financing by way of business partners or others, with cash lớn invest. Financial partners are frequently "silent" and although they vì thế not participate in any business related decisions, they generally receive a percentage of the profits, generated by the business.
To assist sole proprietors, there are business grants available from the Federal Government or private organizations, providing certain criteria are met. To qualify for Federal grants, small businesses must comply with determined business size and income standards. For consideration regarding various grant opportunities, sole proprietors may apply for a grant in their capacity as an individual. Local governments and state economic development agencies, frequently make grants available, for businesses that stimulate their local economies.
For any sole proprietor applying for a loan, before starting the loan procedure, it is essential their personal and business credit history is in order and up-to-date. A personal credit report should be obtained from a credit bureau; for example, Trans-Union, Equifax or Experian. This action should be initiated by a business owner well before starting the borrowing process.
The Small Business Administration specifies that all credit reports received from any source should be carefully reviewed lớn ensure that all relevant personal information is correct. Other nội dung in the report should also be examined particularly that related lớn the past credit obtained, from sources such as, credit cards, mortgages, student loans, as well as details pertaining lớn how the credit was repaid.
An exact equivalent of "sole proprietorship" is often absent, because the focus of the concept can change. An example is the Brazilian concept of "sole business" that was split into two main kinds of formal freelancer:
- sole professional: with higher level academic certificate and regulations for formal control of autonomous exercise (e.g. sole doctor's office)
- sole entrepreneur: "little entrepreneurs", such as a craftsman, autonomous xe taxi driver, and many others, that can be formal. An informal freelancer, through a simple process, can be formalized as sole microentrepreneur.
German and Austrian tax laws also differentiate between sole professionals and other sole proprietors.
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