The first step in deciding which business style would work best for you and the needs and goals of your business is to think about your work style. Do you work better independently or with someone else? Can you handle having to complete all of the necessary work by yourself? Would it be easier to divide the work with another person? Would the quality of work suffer if you have to handle all aspects of the business? Thinking about the big picture helps you to see the personal pros and cons for your business. Consider the liability aspect of business ownership. Can you afford to be solely responsible should your business fail? What would you do if your creditors came after your personal property and assets? Next, think about sharing business decisions. Are you comfortable sharing the business decisions and the direction of your business with someone else? Is there someone that you trust with your business? Would your business benefit from someone else’s business-savvy know-how? If you are confident in making all of the business decisions on your own, assuming sole liability for the business, and you can handle the workload with just the help of support staff, a sole proprietorship may be a good choice for your notary-based business. On the other contrary, if you feel your business would profit from having another partner who could share the responsibilities and liabilities with you, and also offer business experience, a partnership may be the way to go. Just take note that choosing a business partner should not be a decision that you make without careful consideration. Make sure your potential partner(s) is responsible and shares the same goals for your business. Do not choose a friend or family member unless you can keep the personal and professional relationships separate. Make sure to bear in mind that choosing an incompetent partner can cost you your business.