Proprietor refers to an owner, i.e. someone who has legal and exclusive ownership of something. In particular, it refers to the owner of a sole proprietorship, in which case it is also called sole proprietor.
A sole proprietorship is a form of business organization in which one person owns all the assets and assumes all the debts of the business. It is the simplest entrepreneurial structure and does not require any formalities to be taken to form it. This status will automatically come from the proprietor's business activity. There is no distinction between the business and the proprietor, who enjoys full control over the sole proprietorship and is entitled to all profits, but is subject to unlimited liability for all losses, debts, and liabilities of the business. There is also no separate income tax to be paid for the proprietorship, and all losses and profits are reported on the individual's tax return.
[Last updated in April of 2022 by the Wex Definitions Team]