Why Sole Proprietorship Might Be the Right Choice for Your New Business

When it comes to starting a business, one of the most crucial decisions you’ll have to make is selecting the legal structure that best suits your venture. While there are several options available, including partnerships, corporations, and limited liability companies (LLCs), one form of business structure that is often ideal for small business owners and freelancers is the sole proprietorship. Below, we delve into the advantages and drawbacks of sole proprietorship to help you make a well-informed choice.

What is Sole Proprietorship?

A sole proprietorship is a type of business structure where one individual owns and operates the entire business. Unlike other forms of business organization, there is no legal distinction between the business and the owner in a sole proprietorship. This means that you get to make all the decisions, but it also means that you’re personally responsible for the business’s liabilities.

Advantages of Sole Proprietorship

1. Easy to Start

Setting up a sole proprietorship is straightforward and involves minimal paperwork. In most jurisdictions, you can establish a sole proprietorship without filing any special forms or paying fees. You might need a business license depending on your area and the type of business, but generally, you can start operating almost immediately.

2. Full Control and Decision-making Power

Since there are no partners or board members to consult with, you have complete control over your business decisions. If you’re someone who likes to work independently and wants to keep things simple, a sole proprietorship offers that freedom.

3. Simple Taxation

In a sole proprietorship, business income is considered as personal income, which simplifies taxation. You report your business earnings on your personal income tax return, and you are not required to file a separate tax return for your business.

4. Flexibility

With no partners or shareholders, sole proprietorships offer a high level of flexibility. You can easily alter the direction of your business, change the products or services you offer, or even close down your business without having to consult anyone else.

5. Lower Operating Costs

Sole proprietorships usually have fewer operating expenses, primarily because they don’t require the financial outlays for legal and accounting services that other structures might require. This can be particularly advantageous for small businesses with limited resources.

Drawbacks of Sole Proprietorship

1. Personal Liability

The primary drawback is that you are personally responsible for all of the business’s debts and liabilities. This means that if your business incurs debt or faces legal action, your personal assets, such as your home and savings, could be at risk.

2. Difficulty in Raising Capital

Sole proprietorships may find it challenging to raise capital since they can’t sell stock, and lenders may be hesitant to give them loans. This can limit the ability of the business to grow and expand.

3. Limited Lifespan

The business exists as long as the owner does. If you want your business to continue running after you’re gone or if you want to sell it, you will likely have to change the business structure.


Choosing the right business structure is crucial for your venture’s success. Sole proprietorship offers many advantages like simplified taxation, complete control, and flexibility. However, there are drawbacks such as personal liability and limitations in raising capital. It is essential to weigh the pros and cons carefully and consult professionals if necessary to make the best choice for your circumstances.

Remember, while starting as a sole proprietorship is simple and straightforward, it’s always advisable to consult with legal and financial professionals to ensure that you’re making the most informed decision.

Video Transcript

What Is a Sole Proprietorship?

Whenever you start doing business and you don’t have an LLC or a corporation, and you don’t have a partner, you have a sole proprietorship. You don’t have to register it; it doesn’t have to be filed anywhere. A sole proprietorship is when you are doing business. “Sole” means one, so you are the only person in it, and “proprietorship” essentially means business. So it is a person in business. That is all it means.

Taxation and Business Expenses in Sole Proprietorship

Now you might ask, do I need to set up an LLC or corporation in order to deduct the business expenses of my sole proprietorship? No, you don’t. Not in the United States. In the United States, when you have a sole proprietorship, you are taxed on the profits, not the total income. So, once you have the total income, you deduct the business expenses, and then whatever is left over, those are your profits. That is what you pay tax on, and that is done on Schedule C of your federal tax return.

Benefits and Limitations of Sole Proprietorship

So, what is a sole proprietorship? It is anyone in business who doesn’t have another partner, doesn’t have an LLC, doesn’t have a corporation. You are just in business for yourself. No registrations required. It is the easiest way to get into business.

Challenges and Considerations

What is bad about a sole proprietorship? Well, you are personally liable for everything. So anything that goes wrong in your business, you have personal liability for that. That is why sole proprietorship is usually used when you don’t have any employees and you have a small business operation. But once you get to a certain size, it justifies setting up an LLC to limit your liability or a corporation, which also limits your liability so that you don’t have personal liability for certain business activities. So if you have a sole proprietorship, it just means you are in business. But as you grow, think about getting an LLC or a corporation such as an S corporation.


If you would like more information about any of these topics today, if you are interested in a business owner and getting educated on common mistakes business owners make and how to avoid them yourself, you can go to aaronhall.com/free and sign up to get a number of videos and other resources to help equip you to prevent problems in your business.

This is for entrepreneurs, startups, business owners, and CEOs. Generally, I am thinking about companies with under 500 employees, even as few as one or two, because for you as a business owner or a future business owner, you can either prevent these problems or pay the much more expensive cost of having the problem and having to clean it up afterward. The purpose of this YouTube channel is to help you avoid problems, grow your company, provide great value to your customers and clients, create a great environment for the people that you work with, and experience the success that comes from having a good company built on best practices.

I am Aaron Hall, an attorney for business owners and entrepreneurs. If you have questions about any of this, feel free to put them in the comment section below. Look forward to seeing you next time.