1. Money
You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

Debt Collection: The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act: & Sole Proprietorships

Your Rights and Obligations When Your Business Goes Into Debt Collection


What is The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act?

According to federal law a debt collector has certain rights to pursue repayment from you. However, even if you owe money, you too, have legal rights about how you are contacted and pursued. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) applies to debt collectors, lawyers who regularly collect debts, and collection agencies. It may not apply to a collector who is a direct employee of an actual creditor that you owe money to. But most unpaid debts do end up in collections with outside collectors.

Does the FDCPA Protect Sole Proprietorships?

Yes! The same rights afforded to individuals under the FDCPA also protect sole proprietors. The FDCPA does not release you from your debt obligations, but it does control how debt collectors can pursue women business owners for their business' debt.

Most women small business owners today own sole proprietorships. If you are a woman sole proprietor, or in many cases, involved in a partnership, you may be personally responsible for any debts that your business has incurred.

Laws that apply to debt collection from individuals also apply to collection procedures from business owners when the business' debt is their own personal responsibility.

Debt collectors can be difficult to deal with, and in some cases, even seem cold-hearted. But, as with any other business transaction, it is important to keep things in perspective. Debt collectors are simply doing their own job, which is, to collect money that you owe.

The following topics will help you learn more about your rights under the FDCPA, and how to deal with business debt that does go into collections:

If you want to keep your sole proprietor business debt separate from your personal debt you may need to incorporate your business.


Facts For Consumers. Federal Trade Commission. March 1999.

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.