Sole Proprietorships

The notation “dba” is an acronym for ” doing business as”. The legal significance of the ‘dba’ designation is that the entity so designated is treated as a sole proprietorship. Thus, “John Doe d/b/a Doe Auto Detailing” simply means that John Doe is ‘doing business as’ Doe Auto Detailing and each is the alter ego of the other. Some of the basic advantages of a sole proprietorship are; 1) simplicity of formation, 2) simplicity of administrative operation, 3) simplicity of dissolution, 4) little if any legal fees for formation, operation & dissolution, 5) flexibilty of conversion to another entity, 6) centralization & flexibilty of power & management & 7) single level of taxation. Conversely, some of the disadvantages of a sole proprietorship are; 1) unlimited personal liability for both contracts and torts, 2) finite existence (as opposed to the perpetual existence of a corporate entity), 3) additional taxation of ‘self employment earnings'( as opposed to the exemption of the SE tax to shareholders of an S-Corporation and certain members of a Limited Liability Corporation), 4) non transferability of interests, 5) the possibility for higher tax rates depending upon the net earnings of the entity,based upon the fact it is a pass through conduit (and taxed at the individual rate of the owner), & 6) the inability to maximize various asset protection and estate planning strategies.

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