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Sole Proprietor or LLC for online business

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Posts: 15
Joined: 27 Nov 15
29 Apr 16 04:18:52 pm
I am planning to sell collectible swords and fantasy weapons online. Should I elect to start out as a sole proprietorship or should I elect an LLC? I would rather wait until I see if this business venture takes off first before going into the expense and paperwork that would come with an LLC.

I'm about finished building my website and have continous warnings against ordering these collectible weapons if under 18 and also warnings about these weapons are sharp, etc. as well as the responsibility of the buyer to check with their local authorities as to their legal ownership. Do these printed warnings give me enough protection from possible buyers who do not heed these warnings given throughout the website?

Terry G.

Site Admin
Posts: 6274
Joined: 27 Jul 07
29 Apr 16 08:07:07 pm
Hi Terry,

Regarding business registration, if you have no business partners involved and it's just you, then SP registration would be fine. That said, LLC would of course give you more protection. I really can't advise if your warnings are enough or not. All I could suggest to do there is to get good, sound legal advice to cover yourself upfront.


Mark (fudjj)

Community Manager

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Site Admin
Posts: 45
Joined: 27 Oct 16
22 Nov 16 01:13:25 am
Hi Terry,

The choice between the Sole Prioprietorship(SP) and LLC is entirely up to you. As what Mark have mentioned, most businesses with only one owner would prefer electing SP while if you have partners, an LLC is needed. While you can still register for a single-member LLC, most starting businesses prefer SP since it is easier (set-up and tax-wise), less paperwork, and cheaper. However, the cons of SP would be no distinction between your personal assets and your business. On the other hand, registering an LLC would mean that you have limited liability for any debts or business obligations since you and your business would become two separate entities.

In your case, you are dealing with weapons - at some point you might be needing some protection against liabilities by getting insurance for buyers or something of that sort. Plus, they are collectibles so authenticity is also considered. For the type of product you want to venture on, setting up a proper liability shield should be top consideration. Just to be sure, try seeking for legal advise on these matters.


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