As far as the internal operation of business is concerned, the individual proprietor meets virtually no governmental control, so long as he complies with the social legislation concerned with hiring, paying, and discharging employees, and with the minimum and maximum prices that may be charged. He can buy from anyone who will sell to him and on any agreed terms. He can sell to anyone he chooses. If he doesn’t wish to sell to certain persons, he need not do so unless his business is one that is affected by a public interest, as when the business enjoys some peculiar privilege granted by the public authority, without which it wouldn’t be able to exist or when the business supplies some commodity so essential to economic life that it may be regarded as a public necessity. Although a grocer may refuse to sell to a customer, a gas company couldn’t refuse to supply gas, provided the gas mains and connections were in, the gas burning equipment in proper condition, and the customer ready and able to pay for it.
The greatest advantage of an individual proprietorship is in the freedom of action. The proprietor doesn’t have to consult someone else if he wishes to take a certain action. He is his own boss. He is responsible only to himself. If the business makes money, it is his money; if the business loses money, the loss falls on him. If he decides to expand or contract his business, his own decision is the determining factor.