What Does it Mean to be a Sole Proprietorship in Illinois?

Updated: 2 days ago

If you are a business owner in Illinois and have decided (hopefully after consultation with your attorney) that now is not the time to incorporate your business, you may decide that your business will be a Sole Proprietorship. Here are some questions to consider:

  • What is a Sole Proprietorship? It is an unincorporated business that is owned and operated by the individual business owner. The business and business owner are in theory a single entity, and the business owner receives the full benefit of all of the business’s profits and is also responsible for all debts and liabilities of the business.

  • Do I have to register my Illinois Sole Proprietorship? The answer to this question is the proverbial, “it depends”. The State of Illinois or the Illinois county where your business is located may have different registration requirements depending on your specific business and the location of your business. We would highly recommend that you consult with a professional (think lawyer, accountant, business advisor at an SBDC or Chamber of Commerce) that can help guide you on the registration, licenses and permits that will be required for your Sole Proprietorship. Also, if your business’s name will be different than your (business owner’s) individual name, you will likely need to register an Assumed Name in the Illinois county where you will do business (in addition to other obligations).


  • Does my Illinois Sole Proprietorship have other obligations in Illinois? Depending on your type of business, the customers you serve and the location of your business, you may be required to obtain, among other things, certain licenses, permits, etc. before you can conduct your business. Your business will also have certain tax requirements that may differ depending on your business and whether your business has employees. Your accountant (if your business doesn’t work with an accountant, we highly recommend you do so) can provide additional guidance on the specific tax obligations of your Sole Proprietorship.


  • How can a corporate attorney help me fulfill my Sole Proprietorship’s legal obligations? We can conduct a thorough assessment of your existing or future business to best understand your business’s activities and legal obligations as a Sole Proprietorship. Hiring a corporate attorney to help you establish and assist with the legal requirements of your Sole Proprietorship can lead to a long-standing relationship with your attorney, and that attorney will know certain nuances and legal obligations of your business. This kind of partnership will allow you and your attorney to work hand-in-hand to protect your business and help it grow into the future!

The above summary is not all-inclusive of Illinois’ requirements for Sole Proprietorships, and your business’s obligations may vary depending on the nature of your business. Please contact Serna Legal Services at (312) 601-9859 or info@sernalegalservices.com to learn how we can help your Sole Proprietorship comply with its legal obligations. Remember that with Serna Legal Services, your business will ¡Celebra! Legal Services!


This content is published by Serna Legal Services, LLC and is available for informational purposes only and is not considered legal advice on any subject matter. By viewing this content, the reader understands there is no attorney-client relationship between the reader and the publisher. The content should not be used as a substitute for legal advice from a licensed professional attorney, and readers are urged to consult their own legal counsel on any specific legal questions concerning a specific situation.

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