AskDefine | Define proprietorship

Dictionary Definition

proprietorship n : an unincorporated business owned by a single person who is responsible for its liabilities and entitled to its profits [syn: proprietary]

User Contributed Dictionary



  1. The state of being a proprietor; ownership

Extensive Definition

A sole proprietorship, proprietorship, or in Britain or Australia sole trader, is a type of business entity which legally has no separate existence from its owner. Hence, the limitations of liability enjoyed by a corporation and limited liability partnerships do not apply to sole proprietors. All debts of the business are debts of the owner. It is a "sole" proprietor in the sense that the owner has no partners. A sole proprietorship essentially means a person does business in his or her own name and there is only one owner. A sole proprietorship is not a corporation; it does not pay corporate taxes, but rather the person who organized the business pays personal income taxes on the profits made, making accounting much simpler. A sole proprietorship need not worry about double taxation like a corporate entity would have to.
A sole proprietor may do business with a trade name other than his or her legal name. In some jurisdictions, for example the United States, the sole proprietor is required to register the trade name or "Doing Business As" with a government agency. This also allows the proprietor to open a business account with banking institutions.
proprietorship in Czech: Živnost
proprietorship in German: Gewerbe
proprietorship in French: Métier (corps)
proprietorship in Japanese: 営業
proprietorship in Polish: Działalność gospodarcza
proprietorship in Slovak: Živnosť (právo)
proprietorship in Ukrainian: Господарська діяльність
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