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I'm wondering what is the term for the person, that is doing business on his/her own and has tax liability. It's different in each country, I'd like to know how they are called in USA and UK.

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4 Answers 4

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Sole Proprietor: the person who owns and controls a sole proprietorship.

I am the sole proprietor of this business.

Or...

Independent Contractor: A person working independently, under a contract; a self-employed person.

I am an independent contractor.

Or...

Self-Employed (or Freelancer): working for yourself.

I am self-employed.
I am a freelancer.

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In the UK, sole trader is perhaps more common than sole proprietor. Associated with that the expression trading as (abbreviated T/A) is used to distinguish the individual (who is the legal entity with liability) from the business name (which is nothing more than a name). For example, you might refer to “Joe Bloggs trading as Acme Widgets”. –  Brian Nixon Feb 1 '11 at 1:21
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Sole proprietor doesn't necessarily mean they are working alone - they might actually employ a number of people. It just means that they don't share ownership of the business (with a partner or shareholders) –  HorusKol Feb 1 '11 at 2:39
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Informally, it might be referred to as a "one-man band": en.wiktionary.org/wiki/one-man_band –  Steve Melnikoff Feb 1 '11 at 13:02
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"Self-employed" and "freelancer" denote both sole owner and one-person operation. Owner-operator does the same and is common in the trucking industry. –  MετάEd Dec 28 '11 at 15:43
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In Australia, they can be self-employed, freelancers, contractors, sole practitioners (for professional services), sole traders (for other services), and probably a lot more besides... I don't know if I have heard of sole proprietors here.

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Sole proprietorship or simply proprietorship. The owner is called the proprietor.

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Welcome to ELU! Since the OP has asked for this term for both US and UK, can you add for which country your answer is intended? –  Kristina Lopez Jan 11 '13 at 9:44
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Sole proprietorship is a person that own and run a business on its own depending on no body. He bears the risk on its own.

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