Like sole proprietorships, general partnerships are very easy to set up. The partners are co-owners of the business and share all rights and responsibilities equally. The partnership itself doesn’t have to pay any taxes; the profits flow through to the partners and are reported, and paid, via each owner’s individual return. In addition, for 2018, pass-through entities will receive a 20% tax deduction due to the recent tax reform.
Like sole proprietorships, choosing a business structure of general partnerships provides no liability or professional indemnity protection. Each partner’s personal assets are at risk to pay business debts or for adverse legal judgments. Also, raising outside capital can be difficult, as banks and investors are generally more comfortable working with limited partnerships and corporations.
If you are part of group that wants to own and operate a business together, a general partnership is the easiest way to get started.
Although you can legally set up your partnership orally or on the back of a napkin, experts recommend you create a written document. Even when partners are friends, running a business can get stressful. Having written ground rules in advance can help you manage the tough times.
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