Articles Real Estate Information The Differences Between OPC, Sole Proprietorship, and Corporations

The Differences Between OPC, Sole Proprietorship, and Corporations

When you’re starting a business, it’s best to know what type of company you want to run. Your other two possible options are sole proprietorship and corporations.

The most straightforward sort of business to operate is a sole proprietorship. It doesn't need a formal setup, annual management, specific business taxes, or official record keeping. In a sole proprietorship, all expenses and obligations are your own responsibility once you begin selling goods or services. You must report all company revenue on your personal tax returns since it is pass-through income.

Benefits of a Sole Proprietorship

Simple to Set Up and Cheap

There are no papers or paperwork to do before getting started because a sole proprietorship is not an official business structure. You don't need to pay any incorporation or filing costs; you may just start doing business. You may need to get a specific license, permit, surety bond, or company insurance coverage depending on your sector, but you are exempt from filing paperwork.

Sole proprietorships are ideal for cottage industries and seasonal firms because of how simple they are to set up and how inexpensive administration and maintenance are. Use a sole proprietorship until your firm is established and expanding if you're just starting out in a new endeavor, especially one without significant liabilities.

Owners don't take the procedures to properly incorporate, which would offer liability protection and other benefits, sole proprietorships are simple to set up. Since they are not required, sole owners forfeit the liability protection that comes with a formal corporate structure. It could be advisable to organize as an LLC if you want to limit your liabilities.

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No double taxation or corporate business taxes

In contrast to a C-corporation, a lone owner does not have to pay 21% in corporate taxes on company income. Instead, you simply continue submitting your personal tax returns and declare any additional revenue received through the operation of your company as pass-through taxes, which means that all revenue is subject to the regular income tax rate.

Compared to corporations like C-corps, whose revenue is taxed twice: once at the corporate level and again when earnings are dispersed to shareholders as dividends, taxes for sole proprietorships are significantly easier - and less expensive - because of these exemptions. Given the current dividend tax rate of 15-20%, which excludes the income tax you pay on your wage, you may pay as much as 41% on your taxable company gains.

But there are other forms of business organization that provide pass-through tax advantages than sole proprietorships. Pass-through businesses, such as LLCs and S-corps, are exempt from both double taxation and the corporation tax rate on earnings. However, depending on where and how they operate, LLCs may still be subject to franchise or excise taxes, so taxes may still be greater than for a sole proprietorship. This will depend on the degree of profits.

No yearly filings or reports

You don’t need yearly reports or filings from sole proprietorships to remain in compliance. In actuality, you are only required to file your personal tax returns. In contrast, when an LLC, S-corporation, or C-corporation is created, yearly reports are often required to be filed. Lists of members or managers need to be updated for these reports often.

The absence of an annual filing requirement for sole proprietorships is advantageous not only because it spares you the hassle and saves you time, but also because there are high costs for these yearly files. Conversely, sole proprietors just need to submit their yearly tax returns.

Exempt from Formal Business Structure

Other, more officially constituted firms have standards that they must satisfy as well as operational restrictions. These restrictions do not apply to sole proprietorships. If you run a business as a single proprietor, it's just you; you may decide how to run it as long as it's legal. There is no official procedure for evaluation or approval.

As a single owner, you are exempt from following several criteria that apply to other types of businesses:

  1. Annual meetings are essential for organizations like LLCs to review the lists of management and members.
  2. Board meetings: In certain businesses, some business decisions must be formally authorized by the company's directors.
  3. Recorded minutes - For companies and LLCs, formal minutes must be kept for these meetings.
  4. Shareholder votes are required for all official company acts, such as the appointment of managers or the admission of new members. Formal evaluations are also required for some official business actions, such as the reappointment of managers.
  5. Five. Simple Record-Keeping
  6. You are expected to keep your personal and corporate money separate if your firm is an LLC or another properly constituted entity. Otherwise, you run the danger of "breaching the corporate veil," which entails exposing oneself to limitless responsibility. However, this infinite liability is a drawback of a single proprietorship that is always present.

Many lone owners don't separate their finances since they have unlimited liability. They directly transfer corporate money into personal accounts, take care of all debt and bill payments themselves, and effectively see the company as an extension of their own financial affairs. This may make running a sole proprietorship simpler than running an LLC or a comparable entity.

Keeping company and personal funds separate is simpler, but it is not often advised. You may more carefully track your company's cash flow by keeping separate records. Opening a corporate checking account is the first step toward segregating funds.

Separating money won't shield you from liability in a single proprietorship, but it can aid with bookkeeping as the company expands. Additionally, it will make it simpler if you choose to switch to an LLC or another official corporate structure. Chase was rated as having the finest business checking accounts by our reviewers. Bonuses are available for brand-new clients.

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Drawbacks to Being a Sole Proprietor

It's critical to weigh the benefits and drawbacks of a sole proprietorship. The major disadvantage is that a business owner can be held personally liable for all debts incurred by the company.

One-Time Liability

The limited liability protections provided by an LLP, LLC, S-corporation, or C-corporation are not available to single proprietors. If someone is wounded on your property, suffers injury through a product of your business, or suffers harm as a result of a mistake you make, you are personally responsible for all business expenditures and obligations. This indicates that there is no legal distinction between your company and you.

Your personal liability in a solo proprietorship may include the following:

  1. Charges made by your company
  2. Debts relating to a business
  3. responsibility relating to products
  4. Injury relating to the property
  5. Damages in the form of civil lawsuits if the service is improper or inadequate

In a sole proprietorship, you have unlimited personal responsibility, thus any debts owed by the firm can be paid off by seizing your personal assets from a supplier, client, or lender. The liability shield that LLCs, S-corps, and C-corps provide between a firm and its owners prevents this.

Owners' private assets are safeguarded under incorporated entities like an LLC or C-corp. Unless the business owners act in a way that causes the corporate veil to be breached or unless the business owner intentionally signed a personal guarantee, they cannot be seized by creditors, clients, or suppliers to settle the debts of a company. A single proprietorship is not the best option for you if you need to legally defend yourself.

An LLC is a limited liability corporation, your personal assets are shielded from creditors and legal actions brought against the business. Unlimited liability companies also include other legal organizations including sole proprietorships, the majority of general partnerships, and other unincorporated firms. Because the company and the owner in these firms are the same, you are responsible for any obligations incurred by the business, even if another partner assumed responsibility for them.

No Continuous Business Life

If you set up your company as an LLC, C-corp, or another legal structure and anything bad occurs to you (such as a planned exit or your death), the company will still be in operation. In actuality, your company may live forever as long as you retain the correct license and keep your business papers up to date. But if you're a sole owner and anything bad occurs to you, your business is over.

A sole proprietorship lacks a framework that would guarantee permanence. Although an employee or a member of your family may go on running your firm, they would really be establishing a new one from scratch and not truly continuing your activities. This makes it more difficult to set long-term planning and succession plans for your potential firm departure.

Challenges Raising Capital

If you might need to acquire capital from outside investors, it's not a smart idea to structure your company as a sole proprietorship. This is because there isn't an actual business to market and without concrete assets or intellectual property that investors can invest in, raising money is almost difficult.

Neither do sole proprietorships have official business licenses nor do they have equity shares. There is no official approval or review procedure for business choices. In a single proprietorship, "shareholders" really have no rights. Investors typically avoid investing money in sole proprietorships due to these worries.

Even an LLC makes it difficult to get funds, however, you can choose to form an S-corp instead, which makes it simpler. However, a C-corporation is your best option if you wish to raise money, particularly investor financing from an angel investor or venture capital company.

Unable to incur business debt

A sole proprietorship is not eligible for a business loan since it is not a legally recognized business. Instead, all debt is a personal debt, even money borrowed to expand or run a business. Any loans must be personally guaranteed by a sole proprietor in order for the lender to have access to your personal assets in the event of failure.

This is true because you, as the sole proprietor, are the actual business under a sole proprietorship. You are promising lenders that you will return any loans taken for business reasons by personally guaranteeing debt for a sole proprietorship, even if the firm is unsuccessful.

This may not be that different from other business forms, though. For instance, it's likely that you will need to personally guarantee any form of company loan, including certain loans, even if you establish it as an LLC. When taking on corporate debt, make sure you are well aware of your own responsibility.

Lack of professionalism as perceived

Customers and business partners frequently think poorly of lone owners. This might not be a concern for those who just wish to work from home or earn some more cash during their free time. However, it's important to weigh the advantages and disadvantages of a sole proprietorship when choosing the type of business structure you wish to utilize.

C-corporations, which are utilized by many of the biggest firms in the world and are typically regarded as the most professional, are at the other end of the sole proprietorship spectrum from them. The organizational structure and governance requirements for these kinds of organizations are the strictest, but they also offer the best liability protection and are the best at attracting outside funding.

Contrarily, sole proprietorships don't have any formal framework for administration or control. A solo proprietorship is only one person selling products or taking on jobs. Income received by solitary proprietors frequently flows to them directly. They typically use their own accounts to pay their bills.

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Benefits of Incorporation

Less Liability

Limited liability is one benefit of establishing your firm. Some business entities, such as sole proprietorships, are subject to full corporate responsibility. When you incorporate, owners or shareholders are no longer responsible for the conduct and obligations of the firm. The owners are not liable for any claims made against the business, protecting the owners' own finances. Owners may be shielded from risks such as legal action, debt, and financial losses. In brief, limited liability serves as a protection against personal culpability for the corporation's owners.


The continuation of an entity is another benefit. A company may exist forever, unlike other formations. Even if the stockholders quit the company or pass away, it still exists. Additionally, it endures even if the company's ownership changes. This increases the likelihood that a firm will prosper for many years, despite internal changes.

Adaptable income

You can be a little more adaptable when it comes to how you distribute profits if you incorporate your firm. You may choose how and when to receive payments after your firm is incorporated. You can obtain revenue later on in place of receiving a salary from the organization when it starts to make money straight immediately. Dividends are another kind of income that you may get and might help you pay less in taxes.

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Drawbacks of Incorporation


The cost involved in establishing your firm is one drawback. In general, corporations cost more to set up than other company forms because they are more sophisticated than other structures.

You must pay fees in order to create a corporation. These costs also persist even after your business is formed. Corporate fees are recurring and can be expensive for small enterprises. Here is a list of the several types of fees you could be required to pay in order to form a corporation: setup fees, law-related costs, and recognizing costs

Double Taxes

Double taxes is another drawback of establishing your firm. When you must pay income taxes twice on the same income, this is known as double taxation. This implies that if you are a corporation, you are subject to both personal and corporate taxes.

Businesses must pay taxes on their yearly profits. Dividends paid to shareholders by a corporation are subject to tax obligations as well. Any dividends received by shareholders must be taxed. Pass-through taxation allows other structure types, such as LLCs and S Corps, to avoid double taxes. Taxes that are paid by the company are then passed on to the owners or other people. You could wish to create an S-corp or opt not to incorporate your firm if you want to completely avoid double taxes.

Additional Documentation

The amount of documentation required to incorporate your firm might make the process time-consuming. You must keep thorough records of your articles of incorporation, bylaws, meeting minutes, and a register of directors, members, officers, and shareholders in order to operate a company.

Keep structured records of transactions in addition to keeping track of meetings and other events. For the corporation to file income tax returns, you need up-to-date records of financial activities.