No longer a newbie, moving up!
Question: Under what circumstances would it be better to be a sole proprietor? If none, why is it available as an option?
Can you expand on each of these different type of business structures or do you have a link or book that you recommend that explains them?
Regarding your question about being a Sole Proprietor, it is never a good idea. You can be sued for all of your personal assets if something happens. With a Corp or LLC you have protection from such lawsuits. Sole Proprietor is a cheap way to do business if you don't have the cash to file the proper paperwork to form a corporation. You also need to figure out which structure will work best for you. If you don't mind risking everything, Sole Proprietor will work just fine. The same applies to Partnerships. I personally always file for an LLC. Here in Nevada it's only $75 to incorporate and $125 for the initial list of officers. $200 total for corporate status and protection.
Yeah, it seems like common sense to get an LLC. I don't want to risk losing my home if my frame falls of the wall of someones home and kills somebody.... So of the people here that run their own photog businesses, you guys are all LLC's or Corps? No Sole proprietorships represented here?