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Sole proprietorship is the simplest form of business ownership, where a single individual owns and runs a business. It is an attractive option for those who want complete control over their business and don't want to share profits or decision-making with others. As a sole proprietor, you can enjoy the benefits of low start-up costs, easy tax filing, and flexibility in decision-making.
OPCs & Sole Proprietorship are two distinct business structures but many-a-times people get confused between the due and assume both to be the same. Let’s distinguish them on the below parameters.
|Registration||In OPC, the company can be registered under MCA and Companies Act, 2013, whereas Sole Proprietorship Registration is not compulsory in general. It does not require any formal registration as such as it is identified through alternate registrations, such as GST registrations. A proprietor can register if he wants to register his company.|
|Legal Status||Unlike a partnership firm or corporation, sole proprietorship does not have any separate legal identity. It is a limited business structure that connects the business and the business owner. Proprietor and business are indistinguishable from a tax and legal point of view. OPC on the other hand is treated as a private company having a separate legal entity. It has the advantage of corporate status in society.|
|Compliance||In case of a one person company, the compliances are much more strict than proprietorship. This is because the company has to register annual returns, get its accounts audited, and meet other compliances of a Private Limited Company. It would also have to get accounts edited in the same manner as done by a private limited company. Whereas, In a sole proprietorship, In a sole proprietorship, the owner only needs to file the annual returns and the firm is required to get accounts audited only if the annual turnover crosses the threshold limit as specified under the provisions of the Income Tax Act.|
|Liability||Since, One Person Company is a separate legal entity, the owner has liability limited to the extent of share capital, in case the business suffers a loss. This is the most attractive reason why many individuals are opting for an OPC. Whereas, a sole proprietorship’s liability is unlimited, which means all the assets of the individual will be attached and there is no limitation on the liability. Also, Liability extends to his personal belongings as well.|
|Conversion||Conversion of Sole Proprietorship to Private Limited Company is possible but it’s a bit tiresome process. Whereas, the conversion of OPC to Private Limited Company is comparatively easy. OPC has to convert itself into a Private Limited Company if its paid-up share capital exceeds Rs.50 Lakhs and if its average turnover of any three consecutive financial years exceeds Rs.2 Cr.|
|Succession||In a sole proprietorship firm, since there is no distinction between the business firm and the owner, the succession is possible only through an execution of the will. Whereas, one person company must have a nominee designated by its members for the purpose of succession. Only a natural born citizen and a resident of India shall be eligible to be a nominee who in case of death of the member shall take his/her place. OPC is not affected by the death of the member and has continued succession.|
Sole proprietorship business does not need any specific registration. However, the owner is advised to get a few essential registrations to make the business function in a better way like registration in Shop and Establishment Act, a GST registration or a Udyog Aadhaar under MSME
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