A General Partnership is a business structure in which two or more individuals manage and operate a business in accordance with the terms and objectives set out in the Partnership Deed. This structure is thought to have lost its relevance since the introduction of the Limited Liability Partnership (LLP) because its partners have unlimited liability, which means they are personally liable for the debts of the business. However, low costs, ease of setting up and minimal compliance requirements make it a sensible option for some, such as home businesses that are unlikely to take on any debt. Registration is optional for General Partnerships.
A partnership firm is a business structure in which two or more individuals manage and operate a business in accordance with the terms and objectives set out in a Partnership Deed that may or may not be registered. In such a business, the members are individually partners and share the liabilities as well as profits of the firm in a predetermined ratio.
A partnership firm is best for small businesses that plan to remain small. Low costs, ease of setting up and minimal compliance requirements make it a sensible option for such businesses. Registration is optional for General Partnerships. It is governed by Section 4 of the Partnership Act, 1932. For larger businesses, it has lost its relevance with the introduction of the Limited Liability Partnership (LLP). This is because an LLP retains the low costs of a partnership while providing the benefit of unlimited liability, which means that partners are not personally liable for the debts of the business.
The partners in a partnership firm are the owners, and thus, are not separate entity from the firm. Any legal issues or debt incurred by the firm is the responsibility of its owners, the partners.
A partnership must have at least two partners. A partnership firm in the banking business can have up to 10 partners, while those engaged in any other business can have 20 partners. These partners can divide profits and losses equally or unequally.
No, registration of a partnership is not necessary. However, for a partner to sue another partner or the firm itself, the partnership should be registered. Moreover, for the partnership to bring any suit to court, the firm should be registered. For this reason, it is recommended that larger businesses register the partnership deed.
The deed should contain names of the partners and their addresses, the partnership name, the date of commencement of operation of the firm, any capital invested by each partner, the type of partnership and profit-sharing matrix, rules and regulations to be followed for intake of partners or removal.
1. Form No. 1 (Application for registration under Partnership Act)
2. Original copy of Partnership Deed, signed by all partners
3. Affidavit declaring intention to become partner
4. Rental or lease agreement of the property/campus on which the business is set
A sole proprietorship is a business that is owned and managed by a single person. You could have one up and running within 15 days, which makes it very popular among the unorganised sector, particularly small traders and merchants. There is no such thing as registration; proprietorships are recognised by other registrations, such as a service tax registration or sales tax registration. As you would imagine with a business that is so easy to set up, though, its shortcomings are severe: the liability of the proprietor is unlimited and it does not have a continuous existence.
Sole Proprietorships are only recognised via their government and tax registrations, so the extent of their compliance is limited to the annual filing of their service, professional or sales taxes.
A sole proprietorship could take 15 days to start if all you need is a Service Tax Registration, but this would stretch to even 45 days if you need Sales Tax Registration. Either way, the process is uncomplicated. PAN card and identity and address proofs are enough to get them done.
A Sole Proprietorship is inexpensive as compared to a One Person Company (OPC) and, thanks to the minimal compliance requirements, is inexpensive even over the long-term. You would not need to hire an auditor, for example. This is why, despite its severe shortcoming (unlimited liability), small merchants and traders opt for it.