Difference between Sole Proprietorship and an S Corporation


A sole proprietorship is a type of business that’s owned by one person. In contrast, an S corporation is owned by shareholders who elect directors who in turn select the officers and employees of the company.

Sole Proprietorship

The sole proprietorship is the simplest form of business. It’s also one of the most common ways people start a business.

  • You are the owner and operator of your business.
  • You have unlimited liability for all debts incurred by your company.
  • You can set up this type of business in any name you choose (so long as it isn’t already being used).
  • You can operate from home, a storefront, or anywhere else that meets your needs.

The main drawback to operating a sole proprietorship is that you’re taxed as an individual rather than as a corporation (which means you pay higher taxes). On the other hand, there are no restrictions on location or hours worked; if you don’t have employees to worry about, this may not matter much at first if it lets you keep costs down while building up capital

As a sole proprietor, you can do business under your own name or choose to do business under a “fictitious” or “doing business as” name. To use a fictitious name, you must register it with the county clerk in the county where you conduct business.

In general, you’ll be responsible for all debts incurred by your sole proprietorship and for any legal judgments against it. As long as there’s no fraud involved in running your company (i.e., if you’re not misrepresenting yourself), this isn’t too much of a problem because anyone who does business with your firm assumes that they’re working directly with its owner, and not some corporation or limited liability company set up in another state. You may want to consult an attorney before opening an S Corporation if there are liabilities that could affect other people besides yourself (for example, if someone is injured on site).

As far as taxes go, sole proprietorships report income using Schedule C of Form 1040 (along with any other income-generating activities) and then pay self-employment tax on what they bring home after paying themselves wages from their businesses’ profits.

Set up a Sole Proprietorship in no Time.

You can set up a sole proprietorship in no time. You don’t need to file any documents with the state, and you don’t need to pay any fees. If you want to do it by mail, you can send a letter or form to your county office; if you want to do it in person at the county office, they will process your application right away; if you prefer to start your business online, there are many websites that will guide you through the process of setting up a sole proprietorship within minutes.

An LLC is more complicated than a sole proprietorship because it involves filing paperwork with both the state and federal governments (state-level taxes). In addition, an LLC requires having owners who have either 51% ownership or two owners who each have a 25% ownership stake – which means there are more people involved with setting up an LLC as opposed to starting off as a one-person business.

No Legal Formalities.

This means that the only paperwork you’ll need to file is a 1040 tax return, and you can use software to do it yourself at a minimal cost.

You don’t need to register with your state as a corporation or an LLC. You also don’t need to pay any fees or taxes unless you want them (like your sales tax). You also won’t need a lawyer or accountant because neither one is required by law either!

What about filing paperwork with the IRS? You don’t have to file any forms with them either! In fact, all they require is an informational form called Form SS-4 which serves as proof of existence and identification for sole proprietorship businesses like yours

S Corporation

S corporations are a type of corporation that is taxed as pass-through entities. These companies have many of the same legal requirements as C corporations, but they can only have one class of stock and an unlimited number of shareholders. This means that if you’re a sole proprietor who wants to incorporate in order to protect your personal assets from your business liability, an S corp may be right for you.

In the case of an S corporation, shareholders elect directors to represent them in the company. Shareholders are not members of the company. They are not responsible for their debts and are not liable for their actions.

The directors select officers who run the day-to-day operations of the corporation, including hiring employees and managing funds. The officers have less power than directors but more power than shareholders because they can act on behalf of either group at any time (as long as their actions are approved by a majority vote).

Set up Times.

It takes longer to set up an S corporation than it does to create a sole proprietorship. You need to file articles of incorporation with the state, which can take anywhere from 2 days to 6 months. In addition, you’ll need to get an employer identification number from the IRS (you’ll be filing as an entity rather than a single person). Once your business is registered as an S corp, you’ll need to decide whether or not you want it taxed separately from yourself or as an individual. This can make a big difference in terms of decisions about how much money goes where and when.

Sole Proprietorship vs. S Corp

A sole proprietorship is a business owned by one person. This can be either an individual or a married couple who own the business together.

A corporation is a legal entity that’s owned by shareholders and exists separately from those who own it. A corporation can have multiple owners (shareholders) who are known as “shareholders”.

When you start your own business as a sole proprietorship, you’re responsible for all income taxes related to your company. In addition to paying personal income tax on profits earned through your company, you also pay self-employment tax on any profit left over after paying off expenses like supplies and utilities—this money goes toward Social Security benefits when you retire. You may also have to pay state and local taxes depending on where in the United States your business is located — though this varies from state to state so check with yours if unsure!

These two types of business organizations have different rules and tax laws governing them.

Sole proprietorships are unincorporated businesses owned by one person. S corporations are corporations that have shareholders and must file a tax return under their own name. Sole proprietorships are still taxed as sole proprietors, not as corporations.


If you’re considering starting a business, we recommend that you start off as a sole proprietor. This way, you’ll be able to keep your personal assets separate from those of your company. When deciding whether or not to incorporate as an S corporation, think about how many employees will be working for the company and how much money will be coming in each year. If these numbers are high enough, then it might make sense for you!

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