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5 Types of Sole Proprietorship Businesses to Start

Sole proprietorship businesses are perfect for those who want to own and control their own venture. They provide you with the flexibility to work from home or any other space of your choice and offer simple registration requirements.

We've compiled a list of five potential business ideas to help jumpstart your dream of running your own business as a sole proprietor. Check out this guide, to explore them and read our best tips on getting started.

What is a Sole Proprietorship?

A sole proprietorship is a type of business entity that is owned and operated by one individual. As the sole proprietor, you are personally responsible for all of the business's debts and obligations, which means that your personal assets may be at risk if the business is sued or goes into debt. However, the benefits include having the freedom to make decisions and control every aspect of your operations and finances.

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Types of Sole Proprietorship Businesses

Any type of business can be a sole proprietorship, including online businesses, home-based businesses, and service-based businesses. Whatever your passion or niche, a sole proprietorship provides a convenient way to get started on your entrepreneurial journey. Let's take a closer look at 5 common businesses operated by sole proprietors.  

#1: Service-Based Sole Proprietorship Businesses

Service-based businesses provide services to customers, such as consulting, coaching, tutoring, or landscaping. These businesses often require a low startup cost and can be run from home or small office space. Service-based businesses depend highly on the quality of service provided, so it's crucial to have a strong reputation and a focus on customer satisfaction. 

Examples of service-based businesses: 

  • Personal service businesses: hair salons, barber shops, spas, and personal trainers
  •  Home service businesses: house cleaning services, carpet cleaning companies, and window washing services
  • Health and wellness service businesses: massage therapists, chiropractors, and acupuncture clinics
  • Financial service businesses: accounting firms, tax preparation companies, and financial planning firms
  • Educational service businesses: tutoring companies, test prep companies, and educational consulting firms
  • Event planning service businesses: wedding planner, party coordinator, conferences event host, and conventions planner

#2: Retail-Based Sole Proprietorship Businesses

Retail-based businesses sell goods to customers, such as clothing, accessories, or home decor. These businesses often require a higher startup cost, typically purchasing inventory and renting or leasing a storefront. While you can have an online-based retail business, some will need a physical location in order to thrive. In addition, retail-based businesses need a focus on visual merchandising and creating an inviting customer experience, whether they have a brick-and-mortar store or online shop. 

Examples of retail-based businesses: 

  • Clothing boutique
  • Book store
  • Jewelry store
  • Coffee shops
  • Food trucks 
  • Flower shop
  • Bakery
  • Grocery store
  • Convenience store

#3: Manufacturing-Based Sole Proprietorship Businesses

A manufacturing business is any company that creates or produces goods using raw materials, components, or tools. These businesses are responsible for producing everything from furniture to electronics to cosmetics. These types of businesses often require a higher startup cost, as they typically involve purchasing materials and equipment. In addition, manufacturing-based businesses need a focus on product design and quality control. 

Examples of manufacturing-based businesses: 

  • Craft breweries
  • Independent fashion designers
  • Artisanal soap makers
  • Jewelry designers 
  • Furniture makers 
  • Ceramic makers
  • Cosmetic producer

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4.  Technology Sole Proprietorship Businesses

Technology businesses are businesses that develop or sell technology products, such as software companies, app developers, and computer hardware companies. One of the benefits of owning a technology business is that you can often scale your business quickly and reach a global market with relative ease. Additionally, technology products tend to have high margins, which can result in high profits for your business.

Examples of technology-based businesses: 

  • Software developer
  • Front end engineer 
  • Back end engineer 
  • Technical consultant 
  • IT consultant

#5: Consulting-Based Sole Proprietorship Businesses

Consulting-based businesses provide expertise and advice to clients in a specific industry or area of expertise, such as management consulting, financial consulting, or marketing consulting. These types of businesses often require higher education or experience and may require obtaining certifications or licenses. In addition, consulting-based businesses require a focus on building a strong reputation and a deep understanding of the industry or area of expertise. 

Examples of consulting-based businesses: 

  • Marketing consultant 
  • Educational consultant 
  • Leadership and management consultant 
  • Financial consultant
  • Business consultant

Legal Requirements for Sole Proprietorship Businesses

Though simpler and often more cost-effective than other business structures, running a sole proprietorship carries specific federal, state, and local legal requirements to stay above board. Here are some key legal points to keep in mind as you embark on your business journey:

Registering the Business Name:

One of the first steps in starting a sole proprietorship business is choosing a business name and registering it with the appropriate authorities. While there is no legal requirement to register a fictitious business name (also known as a "DBA" or "doing business as" name) in some states, many states require sole proprietors to register their business name with the state or county clerk's office. Registering your business name helps to protect your brand. It ensures that no other business can use the same name within your state or jurisdiction.

Obtaining Necessary Licenses and Permits:

Depending on your industry and location, you may need to acquire specific licenses and permits to prevent any hiccups in your growth. Each requirement is unique to your state and city, from sales tax permits to health and zoning permits. So, do some digging and get started on the right foot by complying with all applicable laws and regulations.

Paying Taxes:

As a sole proprietor, you are responsible for paying income taxes on your business's profits. In addition, you must file an annual tax return with the IRS and pay any applicable self-employment taxes. You may also need to collect and remit sales tax if you sell physical products or provide certain services subject to your state's sales tax. Therefore, keeping detailed records of your business income and expenses is important to report your tax liability and minimize your tax burden accurately.

Getting Started With Your Sole Proprietorship

Starting a sole proprietorship business can be rewarding and fulfilling in many ways. With careful planning and preparation, launching a business as a sole proprietor could be right for you. Whether providing services or quality products to customers, creating handmade items, or offering consulting solutions, you have many open doors if you consider yourself self-employed.

The key is ensuring that your venture meets all the requirements for setup and sustainability and providing quality customer service as your company grows and scales up. Entrepreneurship is an exciting journey filled with potential opportunities—embrace them and turn your passion into something great!

Start Your Business With Fundid

Starting a sole proprietorship is an exciting opportunity to take control of your future and build something entirely your own. Not only does it offer the chance to make your own decisions, but it also allows you the flexibility to craft a business model that works best for you. 

At Fundid, we are here to help you start your journey as a sole proprietor. Subscribe to our weekly newsletter to get the latest funding and growth resources sent to your inbox.

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