Steps in Formation of Sole Proprietorship in Wisconsin

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A sole proprietorship operates with a single owner. Sole proprietors in Wisconsin have unlimited liability for business losses and other obligations. Fewer paperwork requirements make forming a sole proprietorship in Wisconsin a favorable option. In addition to being the easiest type of business to form, a Wisconsin sole proprietorship has the least expense of all business entities.

Name Selection

A Wisconsin sole proprietorship may be named after the owner of the business. Wisconsin sole proprietors have the option of filing a fictitious business name also known in Wisconsin as a Registration of Firm Name. This allows sole proprietors in Wisconsin to operate under a name other than that of the business owner. The completed Registration of Firm Name must be submitted to the county Register of Deeds.


The Wisconsin state government website, indicates no paperwork requirements exist to form or begin operation as a sole proprietorship. However, a sole proprietor may have to apply for a business license in their county of operation. A sole proprietor may obtain a business license from the Wisconsin Secretary of State's office in the county where the business resides.


As mentioned on the Legal Explorer website, applying for an EIN is one of the few formalities advisable for a Wisconsin sole proprietor. If the sole proprietor fails to apply for an EIN, their social security number will be required on all business correspondence. Apply for an EIN by logging on to the Internal Revenue Service website. An EIN may be obtained by applying online, via fax, phone or mail. Submitting Form SS-4 online or on the phone with an IRS representative will provide a sole proprietor with an EIN for immediate use. Applying via fax will yield an EIN in 4 days, while mailing Form SS-4 may delay receipt of an EIN for 3 to 4 weeks.



About the Author

Christopher Carter loves writing business, health and sports articles. He enjoys finding ways to communicate important information in a meaningful way to others. Carter earned his Bachelor of Science in accounting from Eastern Illinois University.

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