University of Maryland Extension

Let’s Partner Up: General Partnership Overview

Paul Goeringer
Photo by Edwin Remsberg

This post should not be relied upon as legal advice

            Today we continue our series on business organizations and look at partnerships.  A partnership is a separate legal entity created by two or more individuals (“partners”) who each contribute capital, equipment, and skills and share in profits and losses.  Partnerships come in two forms: 1) general partnership and 2) limited partnership.  Today we focus on general partnerships.

            General partnerships are the simplest form of the two partnership types, requiring no legal agreement or filing with the state to create.  A general partnership is a separate legal entity that can contract in its own name, title assets in its own name, and can be sued.  Similar to a sole proprietorship, the liability in a general partnership is not limited to just the business assets; your personal assets are potentially liable for legal claims against the business and other partners.  If asset protection is your key goal, then a general partnership may not be for you.

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