Our law firm assists sole proprietors will nearly all forms of business law, including compliance issues, transactions, and representation in court. A sole proprietorship’s entity structure provides no liability shield to its owner. With that in mind, we pay special attention to any claims the business might face, and take extra care to spot potential pitfalls.
Our lawyers enjoy excellent legal credentials and typically charge significantly less than other local attorneys. For our attorney bios click here. For information on how we are able to charge less, click here.
Frequently Asked Questions:
What is a sole proprietor? A sole proprietor is someone who operates his or her business without any other owners and without filing for any other type of entity structure, such as a corporation or limited liability company (LLC). It is the oldest and simplest means of running a business.
You say a sole proprietorship provides no liability to shield to its owner. What does that mean? With the exception of a traditional partnership, most business entity types, such as corporations and LLCs, provide at least some protection against the business’s creditors pursuing the business owner’s individual assets. For example, if you sued a corporation like Ford Motor Company, you could only collect against the business’s assets, not the assets of the people who own the company. A sole proprietorship affords no such protection for its owner’s assets. The business’s assets and the owners assets are essentially the same in the eyes of the law, and creditors can collect from either.
Can I change my entity structure to one that provides liability protection? And if so, how much would it cost? Yes, it is relatively easily to move from one business entity to another. The cost varies depending on whether you use an attorney and the complexity of the business. Usually government fees are around $300, and the associated attorney fees are often less than $1,000, if you choose to hire an attorney.
Can I change entity structures myself or do I need an attorney. Many people change business structures themselves. A relatively low percentage of those people do it properly, however.
What entity structure would you recommend? The most common entity types are S corporations and LLCs, though other entity types are sometimes advisable. We can help you select the best entity for your situation.
Are sole proprietorships legal, or am I supposed to be a different entity type? Sole proprietorships are perfectly legal, so long as the owner obtains the appropriate business licenses and otherwise complies with applicable laws.