Starting a solo business in PA

It is natural for an enterprising individual to consider starting their own business. The ability to be your own boss, to control your own products, make your own schedule and set your own goals are very attractive to many people. One of the best ways to begin your journey down this path is to create your own sole proprietorship.

In an earlier blog we discussed the process of starting a business with a partner. Going in with a partner has its benefits, but it can lead to disagreements. Additionally, forming a multi-person business entity, such as a limited liability company (LLC) can quickly become complicated and expensive. By contrast, a sole proprietorship leaves all the power with you and are usually extremely simple to set up.

Sole proprietorships are so simple, in fact, that if you choose to do business under your own name, you don't even have to submit any forms to the state or federal government. If you want to do business under the moniker of something other than your legal name - "John Doe's Deliver Service" rather than simply being John Doe, the delivery driver - you will need fill out a Fictitious Business Name Registration Form from the Department of State Forms and pay a $70 fee.

Once this is done, it may be necessary for you to obtain various licenses and permits depending on what type of business you are conducting. For example, accountants, architects and other professionals who often operate independently must acquire a processional license. Depending on your county, you may have to obtain commercial activity license. Refer to the Department of State to see what your business will need.

Forming and operating a sole proprietorship is much less complicated than starting a corporation of LLC, but it can become tricky at points. It is always a better decision to make sure that all your business' details are in order before getting to work; that is where the council of an attorney experienced in business law comes in.

A minor error on a form, missing a piece of paperwork or not making a necessary phone call can lead to big problems later in your career. If you're thinking about going into business for yourself, conduct your due diligence first.

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