Sole proprietorship is a form of business entity which is set up solely by one person only. Everything within this kind of entity will be the responsibility of this one owner. For this entity, his liability is unlimited. Unlimited liability means that the owner will be personally liable for the debts owing by his/her Sole Proprietor business.

A further elaboration on the meaning of unlimited liability is this: if the Sole Proprietor business fails or unable to repay its debts, the creditors have the right to sue and obtain a court order to claim the debts owing by the business, against his personal assets. Personal assets mean cash savings, houses, cars and any other “cash-able” items own by him in order to repay debts created by the Sole Proprietorship.

Advantages

This form of business is cheap, easy to set up, with minimal documentation and paperwork.

There are much fewer guidelines and formalities wherein there is no requirement to appoint auditors, company secretary or tax agents.

You do not need to disclose your financial statements to the general public.

Relatively easy to change your legal structure if the business grows, or if you wish to wind things up.

Disadvantages

Unlimited liability which means all your personal assets is at risk if things go wrong.
Little opportunity for tax planning – you can’t split business profits or losses made with family members and you are personally liable to pay tax on all the income derived.

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