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Choose Your Business Structure: Sole Proprietorship

From the Small Business Administration

You do not have to take any formal action to form a sole proprietorship. As long as you are the only owner, this status automatically comes from your business activities. In fact, you may already own one without knowing it. If you are a freelance writer, for example, you are a sole proprietor.

But like all businesses, you need to obtain the necessary licenses and permits. Regulations vary by industry, state and locality. Use the SBA’s Licensing & Permits tool to find a listing of federal, state and local permits, licenses and registrations you’ll need to run a business.

If you choose to operate under a name different than your own, you will most likely have to file a fictitious name (also known as an assumed name, trade name, or DBA name, short for “doing business as”). You must choose an original name; it cannot already be claimed by another business. 

SOLE PROPRIETOR TAXES

Because you and your business are one and the same, the business itself is not taxed separately; the sole proprietorship income is your income. You report income and/or losses and expenses with a Schedule C and the standard Form 1040. The “bottom-line amount” from Schedule C transfers to your personal tax return. It’s your responsibility to withhold and pay all income taxes, including self-employment and estimated taxes. You can find more information about sole proprietorship taxes and other forms at IRS.gov.

ADVANTAGES OF A SOLE PROPRIETORSHIP
DISADVANTAGES OF A SOLE PROPRIETORSHIP