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A business may be privately owned in three different forms. These forms are the sole proprietorship, the partnership and the corporation. The sole proprietorship is the most common in many western countries. For example, more than 80 per cent of all businesses in the United States are sole proprietorships.

But it is evident that sole proprietorships do not do the greatest volume of business. They account for only 16 percent of all business receipts, for example, in America. What kind of business is likely to be a sole proprietorship? First of all, service industries such as laundromats, beauty shops, different repair shops, restaurants.


Active Vocabulary

business дело

to own владеть

sole proprietorship частная собственность

partnership партнерство

corporation корпорация

volume об'ем, количество

receipt денежные поступления

service industry сфера обслуживания

to account for об'яснять, отчитываться

repair shop мастерская


Comprehension Questions


1. What are three different ways that a business can be privately owned?

2. What forms do most European countries have?

3. What forms do the businesses in the Russia have?

4. Name some businesses that are likely to be sole proprietorships. Why do you think so?

5. Name some businesses that are not likely to be sole proprietorship? Why do you think so?


Vocabulary Practice


Exercise 1. Choose the necessary word and put it in the sentence.

1. Small ... are very often service industries. 1 receipts

2. The ... industries don't produce material goods. 2 business

3. More than 80 per cent of all business ... are not

from sole proprietorships. 3 service

4. Less than 20 per cent of European businesses

are partnerships or ... . 4 privately

5. Sole proprietorships ... only a small part of all

business receipts. 5 account

6. Is this bank owned publicly or ... ? 6 corporation

7. There are three ... of business ownership. 7 forms




Jim Hi, Alice. How are you getting on?

Alice Fine, as usual, thanks, Jim. What about you?

Jim I'm O.K. It's nice to see you.

Alice You too. I'm glad you are not in a hurry and we have time to talk today.

Jim Sure.

Alice Can you give me a piece of advice?

Jim Well, I’ll try if I can.

Alice You know I've been always good at cooking. It interests me. I am thinking of starting my own business - cafe.

Jim It might be a good idea.

Alice I guess I must learn about the responsibilities of going into business.

Jim Are you going into this business by yourself?

Alice Exactly. I'd like to have a cafe with my name on it where I make the decisions and where. I control the profits.

Jim You seem to be resolute so I'll try to help you. If you go into business alone, it is called sole proprietorship. In such case you needn't consult a lawyer to form the business. You can start or you can stop your business whenever you like.

Alice It sounds encouraging. What else can you tell me?

Jim There is no need to consult partners or a board of directors. So you can put your policies into effect quickly. You decide on your vocation, hours, salary, hiring and firing.

Alice Well, that's not bad.

Jim Wait a moment. I believe I have to tell you about the risk involved.

Alice What do you mean?

Jim First of all, the most important risk is that you have unlimited liability. It means that you are responsible for all your business debts.

Alice So if the business fails, I have to declare personal bankruptcy, don't I?

Jim That's what I mean. You can lose your personal assets.

Alice Well, it's rather disappointing. What other things should I know?

Jim You won't get tax benefits which partnerships or corporations can get.

Alice I know about it. By the way do you know of a good accountant to do my taxes?

Jim Of course. You'll also have to hire a good book-keeper if you can't do your books yourself.

Alice I can't say anything definite about that. I have to think it over. What else, Jim?

Jim Well, I am a bit hungry, why don't we have a snack together and discuss the things in the cafe.

Alice You are right as usual. Let's go.


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