Sole Proprietorship

Sole Proprietorship - Option for small businesses

Sole proprietorship is usually the most favored option for home-based businesses. It is a basic legal structure that gives a formal status to any business. These are easy to establish and taxes from the concern can be reported on your personal tax return.

Although establishing this type of entity is easy, getting financing for such a concern can be a bit difficult, and the liability of the proprietor is not limited to the business. Which means that any claims of creditors can be recovered from the proprietor's personal property i.e. it extends beyond the assets of the firm.

Sole Proprietorship - How to register?

This is quite simple, however, instead of doing it yourself, get a tax consultant or lawyer to do it for you, it is not expensive. The following steps need to be taken:

  • Decide on and select a Business Name; Check availability;
  • Print Letter Heads, envelopes and your business/visiting card;
  • Write an Account Opening Request to your Bank, stating that this is your business and you are the sole proprietor of it;
  • Open an account at a local bank's branch close to you;
  • Next request the bank to issue a letter stating that this is your account and business;
  • Submit the bank certificate and your application with the Tax Authority i.e the FBR (Federal Board of Revenue) Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) formerly known as the CBR Central Board of Revenue;
  • If you are on a job, you already have a NTN (National Tax Number) - the same NTN will be used for your Sole Proprietorship status. Now the CNIC is also used for atx purposes.
  • Once the status is added, you are a registered legal entity.

Sole Proprietorship - Business Activities 

As a sole proprietorship concern you can pretty much carry out all required business activities that you could with any other legal structure. the difference is that a sole proprietorship concern is with unlimited liability ie. the business is not a separate entity but all the debts, payable and liabilities extend to the personal assets of the firm whereas in case of private limited companies the liability is limited to the assets of the company which is in itself a separate entity or legal person. Liability of partnership firms is also unlimited same as sole proprietorship.

Till some time back, banks were a bit wary of financing sole proprietorship concerns as the security of hypothecation could not be registered, nevertheless, with the establishment of the  Secured Transaction Registry-SECP, this matter has been resolved to a considerable extent.

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