Business Partnership Agreement | Our Guide to the Legalities and Particulars

A business partnership agreement is a legal document that highlights information about financial reports, decision-making, business operations, and ownership stake. Before being endorsed, business partnership agreements are written and assessed by a legal counsel. 

The document is attached to other legal documents to limit liability to one or more partners. This article is for small business owners who want to learn more about partnerships with sound business operations.

Business partnership agreements highlight precise rules for business operations and partners' responsibilities. These documents help settle disagreements among partners on roles, returns, and loss allocation.

What is a Business Partnership Agreement?

A business partnership agreement is also referred to as a partnership contract or articles of agreement. This document lists each partner's roles, partnership property, ownership interest, and capital contribution. It also indicates how business partners leave or join a limited company, and the company's assets and profits are distributed to remaining partners.
Partnership agreement document close up

Partnership Agreement Details

Even if each business partnership agreement varies, the principal elements are similar. But it's recommended you inquire from your partnership management about the specific operations. A partnership agreement should include:

  • Business legal name
  • Kind of business operated by the partners
  • Names of each business partner owning the venture
  • The exact location of the business
  • The partner's powers and authorities in the decision-making process
  • The proportioning ratio of returns and losses between partners
  • Details of partner's contributions, whether in the form of ideas, capital contributions, supplies, or furniture

Review and understand the pros and cons of partnerships before endorsing any agreement document. Information on how the business will operate if a partner dies or resigns

Accounts

  • Bank Accounts: This account maintains the partnership funds for each partner.
  • Income accounts are individual accounts for keeping the losses and profits shared.
  • Capital Accounts: Every partner has to contribute capital for starting the business kept in separate accounts.
  • Salary and Drawing: This account shows the partner's salary and drawings from the income account.

Partners

  • The agreement also shows details on when and how the partnership is dissolved.
  • Information about the retirement process
  • The process that follows after the death of a partner.
  • The agreement contains details on the withdrawal process of individual partners.
  • If disagreements among partners arise, they can decide on the withdrawing partner process or retain the partner. The free partnership agreement has information about the removal process of a limited partner.

General

  • Information on the limitations when one partner shifts their partnership interests
  • Details on the law that applied when resolving the written agreement issues
  • More information on the arbitration process and how the solution arrives
  • The steps involved registering the business trade name and the relevant state authorities.

Management

  • Information about how partners handle their roles and responsibilities
  • Details about how new members join the limited liability partnership
  • How books and financial reports are kept and inspected in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles.

Business partners must take ample time to discuss the typical details added to a partnership agreement by creating a draft first. This draft is then attached to the Articles of Incorporation when submitting your incorporation documents for registration.

Why Do You Need a Business Partnership Agreement?

A business partnership agreement is a written partnership agreement showing your financial and lawful position. Partners have a personal liability of working towards meeting the business relationship anticipation and expectations. 

When creating the partnership agreements, it's recommended to reduce these disagreements by all means. This is possible by having ample time for the implementation process. Here's why business partnership agreements are essential:

  • Helps to evade unpredicted tax liability: Failing to produce a business partnership agreement document, you will likely face unforeseen tax liabilities in the long run. The law requires partnerships to pay pass-through taxes meaning that the shares pass-through partners. As a result, all the partners are taxed on the profits share after losses have been subtracted from net income.

Cartooned document

With the partnership agreement, it becomes easy to calculate the partner's profits and losses following a specific percentage of ownership. The agreement clearly explains the treatment of additional capital contributions and the taxes involved.

  • The agreement helps keep off the state's default partnership guidelines: A partnership agreement document means that the partnership rules won't apply. For instance, a lack of precise details about the death or removal of partners may result in dissolution. 

This means that the state can dissolve the general partnership automatically according to the law guidelines. Partners agree on how to control the operations within the partnership business.

  • Partnership agreements indicate financial details: The agreement offers a comprehensive financial report concerning sharing returns and liabilities according to what a partner contributes. Most members have a standard ratio for sharing profit and loss. However, some situations can lead to disagreements and financial confusion. 

Luckily, the legal document assists in resolving these issues by outlining details about the partner's entitlements and shares. It also comes in handy in offering distribution of liabilities and profits according to monetary and non-monetary contributions.

  • Business partnership agreements assist in solving disagreements: A detailed report is available in the document about the partner's responsibilities during decision-making. Having precise voting rights assist in keeping off any arising disputes while making business verdicts. 

Some of the confusion arises during the addition or removal of a partner. With the majority vote, a limited partnership allows partners to split the share equally. The agreement also has solutions such as mediation, litigation, or mediation if disputes arise.

  • The partnership agreement also offers a list of rules and guidelines for members left after a partner has died or resigned. The instructions benefit two or more partners, especially when dealing with the deceased member.

Generally, a business partnership agreement guides members on their roles and responsibilities and the distribution of the profits and losses. But most entrepreneurs work on their agreement document in a hurry, leaving out the essential details. It's advisable to seek help from a popular law firm on the appropriate advice.

Trusted partner compas

Steps to Implement a Business Partnership Agreement

A business partnership agreement becomes effective if new elements and ideas are implemented. Businesses evolve fast, requiring business owners to look for ways to implement new components of a partnership agreement to keep off unpredictable situations. Here are four steps to implement a business partnership agreement:

  • Initial partnership: This step involves partners agreeing to run the partnership's business mutually. Here, two or more partners agree on how to control business ownership stake operations, decisions, and management roles.
  • Adding up new partners: There comes a time when you'll need to welcome new partners. Here, you'll need to get details on the limited voting rights which attract a new partner to participate in making business decisions.
  • How full partners are added: A limited partner can be included as a full partner in the business entity. The entire agreement should state how limited partners are elevated and included as full partners.
  • How succession and continuity processes are done: For this step, the legally binding document shows how succession is done after a founder resigns or retires. The process should be precise on how the roles and profits and such provisions are shared between the remaining partners after partners have left.
Two men shaking hands cartooned

Who Needs a Partnership Agreement?

A business partnership involves an official agreement between partners to run and organize a limited liability company. There are perils connected to this intellectual property that can hinder effective operation. The partnership agreements are needed by different professionals such as accountants.

  • Specialized marketers
  • Financial managers
  • Professional contractors
  • Attorneys

Similar to small businesses, business partnerships don't hinder entrepreneurs from being exposed financially or legally. General partners are liable for the debts and liabilities and even paying personal income tax on returns and losses obtained.

Business partners are entitled to lawful roles in each partnership. They have the task of ensuring the financial reports are kept appropriately, personal tax returns are paid on time, and provisions of managerial roles. However, dormant partners don't participate in managerial roles but in sharing profits and losses. Below are the partner's roles:

  • They participate in creating stable clients relationships
  • They also help to manage staff working in a general partnership
  • Help to implement the marketing policies
  • Participate in executing long-term management activities
  • They help to trail every financial detail

Generally, business partners participate in managerial-related activities to promote the growth of an ordinary business.

Business people signing a contract

However, the partner's responsibilities are determined by nature and type of partnership.

Engage an Attorney When Creating a Business Partnership Agreement

When generating a business partnership agreement, some issues can arise, resulting in an inappropriate deal. In this case, contacting a small business lawyer is advisable to ease your preparations. These attorneys come in handy in offering proper advice and guidance in creating their own partnership agreement in adherence to governing law.

Start with posting your next project on the contract website before working on your partnership agreement. The proposals will start coming in instantly. Take ample time to review the submitted submissions and pick a contract attorney who affordably offers the best advice.

Lastly, if there are still some uncertainties left, we recommend seeking advice from other top formation services and registered agent services out there. Here are some of the most reliable:

Trusted Business Formation Services

Swyft Filings

Despite only doing business since 2015, their 100% positive reviews are speaking for themselves. Swyft Filings offers one of the best refund policies in the industry. On a bonus side the company also has no processing or cancellation fee for your refund. It is a great company to consider when looking to designate a registered agent service for your business.

BizFilings

BizFilings takes you through the whole process from quality check to post-incorporation and also offers on-going support. You can choose various payment plans based on the features you want and your budget. The features in the higher-end packages are also available in the lower-end packages but at an additional fee. With an A+ rating with the BBB, BizFilings is a trusted online formation service. 

SunDoc Filings

When compared to other formation services, SunDoc Filings provides volume discounts for multiple states and entities and equally amazing customer support. However, if you want a service that will save you money, you may find other services in the market that cost less. Also, you may not choose SunDoc Filings if you are looking for a service with payment packages with tons of features and free registered agent service.

Inc Authority

This is one of the most reputable companies you can pick as your registered agent service. Inc Authority has enough experience in the field, having been founded in the 1980s. Its free payment package stands out in what they offer. Loads of positive customer reviews speek for themselves how satisfied and happy with their services and their LLC formation speed their clients are. 

My Corporation

MyCorporation is known for offering a fast LLC formation process. If you wish to speed up the process turnaround time, you can use their expedited service, reducing the process from weeks to a few days, thoug for a fee. Nonetheless, MyCorporation is an excellent pick as your registered agent. It offers numerous payment packages with various features depending on your budget.

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