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Sole Trader in United Kingdom

A sole trader is the most common form of business ownership and the easiest to set up. It means that the business is owned and run by one person – though the business may employ a large number of people. The owner will normally provide the money to set the business up, but he or she could borrow money from a bank or other financial institution. The first likely objective of the sole trader will be survival as many new businesses run out of money in their first few months of trading.


A sole trader is the easiest form of business to set up. All you have to do is offer a good or service for sale and you are a sole trader! No special paper work is required, so a sole trader is able to start business immediately.

They are usually small businesses, so less money is required to set them up;
The owner is in sole charge so quick decisions can be made without having to consult others;
The owner gets to keep all of the profits, they don’t have to be shared with others;
Financial information can be kept private;
The needs of local people can be catered for as can special tastes as the owner will know the local market.


If the owner becomes ill or goes on holiday the business may suffer. This can be less of a problem if the sole trader employs a manager or managers. How often the sole trader is prepared to leave the manager in charge will depend upon how much they trust the managers or employees.

Many sole traders work very long hours, as they may be the only ones who work for the business. It may be the case that they are motivated to work long hours because they are working for themselves and they will get the extra profits from their extra work.

Money can be difficult to raise as many banks and other lending institutions will be reluctant to lend to sole traders because they have a higher rate of bankruptcy.

Their prices are often higher than those of larger organisations. This is because sole traders tend to be small and are unable to buy in bulk and benefit from lower prices. Sole traders often join voluntary groups (such as Spar, VG, Mace and Londis) in order to be able to buy in bulk.

The biggest disadvantage for the sole trader is that s/he has complete responsibility for all the debts of the business. This is called unlimited liability. This means the owners can lose all of their personal possessions if they can not pay the debts of the business, i.e., it goes bankrupt.

Feme Sole Trader Definition in English Law

A married woman, who, by the custom of London, trades on her own account, independently of her husband; so called because, with respect to her trading, she is the same as a feme sole. Jacob; Cro. Car. 68. The term is applied also to women deserted by their husbands, who do business as femes sole. 1 Pet. (U. S.) 105. [1]



This definition of Feme Sole Trader is based on The Cyclopedic Law Dictionary.

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Schema Summary

  • Article Name: Sole Trader
  • Author: International
  • Description: A sole trader is the most common form of business ownership and the easiest to set up. It means that the business is owned [...]

This entry was last updated: March 23, 2017

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