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When you undertake to start a new business, on top of finding the money for start-up, finding a location, designing the product or service, printing brochures and business cards, you need to decide on the business structure.

Partnerships are less common than corporations or limited liability companies in today’s business world, but sometimes this form of business organization is the best fit.  Two or more persons enter into a contract (partnership agreement) that sets out how they are going to conduct their business relationship, including how they will share business profits and losses.  In a true general partnership, any partner can make agreements with others that will bind the business.  In today’s business world, most partnership agreements list a managing partner as the one who signs contracts with others, and sets out how the partners will make business decisions.  Thanks to the availability of a registered limited liability partnership designation, partnerships can offer the same opportunity to protect owners of a business from personal liability from suit or unpaid bills. 

Limited partnerships are a different business form from the general partnership with registration as a registered limited liability partnership.  In the limited partnership agreement, the limited partner is an investor only.  The money invested is at risk, but the limited partner has no say in the business relationship.  The agreement provides that at a certain date, or at the happening of a certain event (like the completion of the building or an office park) the partnership will be dissolved and the limited partners will get a share of the profits earned.  Those profits may be less than, more than, or perhaps only equal to the money they have invested.

Limited partnerships also require a registered agent to receive notices from the State Corporation Commission and to be served with process for lawsuits against the partnership.

The attorneys at Cox and Cox have successfully helped individuals who create general partnerships, limited partnerships and registered limited liability partnerships, as well limited liability companies and small business corporations to get into business, stay in business, and sell or transfer their businesses by sale or by passing the reins on to the next generation. 

The form of business is unique to you and your business plan.  We offer a free consultation about business formation, and stand ready to help you build and maintain the structure of your new or existing business.