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What is a sole proprietorship?

A sole proprietorship is a form of business organization that is owned by one person. The owner is referred to as a sole proprietor.

In accounting, the balance sheet of the sole proprietorship reflects the accounting equation: Assets = Liabilities + Owner's Equity. Owner's Equity consists of the owner's capital account and also a drawing account. The drawing account is a temporary account in which the owner's current year draws or withdrawals are recorded. (The sole proprietor has draws because he or she does not receive a salary or wages. Hence, the income statement will not report an expense for the owner's work. This means that the net income reflects the total return for the owner's work and investment.)

A sole proprietorship is not legally separate from its owner (as would be the case with a corporation). However, a sole proprietor may be able to register as a limited liability company in order to limit his or her personal liability. Be sure to seek professional advice as to the appropriate form of business for your situation and location.