Definition of Sole Proprietorship
Sole Proprietorship definition according to Prof Hynes
Sole Proprietorship is that form of business which has a single owner, who has the total responsibility of the business, who runs the business and also bears the risk on the failure of business.
Despite high mortality the sole entrepreneur survives.
In the words of Dr. John A Shubin
Under the Sole Trader-ship Business, a single man is an organizer; he is the owner and runs the business by his own name.
DISADVANTAGES, DEMERITS OR LIMITATIONS OF SOLE TRADER SHIP (PROPRIETORSHIP)
Following are the main demerits of this system
The arrangement of capital in sole trader business has to be done by its owner from his private resources, which could be limited to his friends and relatives. Thus, due to limited capital, the business also becomes limited.
Limited Management Skills
The organisation and management of sole trade business is done by its owner, whose mental efficiency and skills are limited up to a certain extent. On this ba-sis the development of business also becomes limited up to that extent.
A sole proprietor has to bear the loss of his business himself, because he is the sole owner of the business. If the losses of business cannot be recovered from the assets of the business then his private property may be utilised to recover the loss.
Loss in Absence
The success of sole proprietorship depends on the supervision of the proprietor. If due to certain reasons, like – ill health etc., the proprietor remains absent from office or goes out of station, the efficiency of work starts declining, because whole responsibility of work would be on employees, and they would never work at the same level of efficiency.
The credibility of each person is limited. Since sole proprietorship business belongs to a single person, thus, his credit also is limited up to a certain extent. Thus, he is unable to attain the required amount of loan and other facilities beyond that extent. This restricts the progress of the business.
For a sole proprietor business, secrecy in business matters becomes a big problem. Due to secrecy, the money lenders who give money to sole proprietor doubts the financial position of him, and it becomes difficult for him to attain more loans from money lenders.
The existence of a sole proprietorship firm is not permanent. When the owner of the business dies, or becomes incapable of carrying on the business due to certain reasons, and there is no heir or successor to his business, the business automatically comes to an end. It is also not necessary that his heir is able to successfully run the business, as he previously did.
Limited Business Area
It is very difficult for a sole proprietor to expand his business after a certain limit. Thus, business of sole proprietor runs in a limited area.
Unsuitable for Big Business
After knowing all the disadvantages it can be said that for big business projects, sole proprietorship system is unsuitable.
IS SOLE TRADE ALWAYS SMALL?
It would not be justified to say sole proprietorship is the best, by analysing the above merits. After watching all the points it can be said that “Sole proprietorship is the best only up to the point, when its size is small, because a single person (its owner) cannot control it when its size increases beyond a limit”. Thus, sole proprietor business is not always small, but it is the best, in a small size.