General partnerships: essentials for employment lawyers
General partnerships: essentials for employment lawyers

The following Employment guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • General partnerships: essentials for employment lawyers
  • Nature of a general partnership and its legal framework
  • Partner status
  • Forming a general partnership and continuing obligations
  • General partnership agreements
  • Taxation of general partnerships
  • Ending a general partnership
  • Joining or leaving a general partnership
  • Execution formalities for general partnerships
  • Other resources

This Practice Note sets out an overview of general partnerships and is aimed at providing employment lawyers with the essentials of the topic. It contains links to more extensive, detailed Practice Note material, contained in Lexis®PSL.

The main body of law governing a general partnership formed under English law (as opposed to a limited liability partnership, limited partnership or a partnership incorporated under Scottish law) is the Partnership Act 1890 (PA 1890), which has survived largely intact for over a hundred years. However, it is not a complete code of partnership law and expressly preserves the rules of equity and common law applicable to partnerships, except where they are inconsistent with the express provisions of the PA 1890.

A partnership under the PA 1890 is not a legal entity but is a relationship between partners. It is described as the relationship that subsists between persons (which includes individuals or corporate entities) carrying on a business (which includes every trade, occupation and profession) in common with a view of profit.

Nature of a general partnership and its legal framework

Key concepts to consider in relation to a general partnership include:

  1. the PA 1890 does not provide a complete code of partnership law and expressly preserves the rules of equity and common law applicable to partnerships

  2. there will often be a written agreement between