Setting up an ordinary partnership
Choose a nominated partner - they are responsible for tax returns and keeping business records for the partnership.
The nominated partner must register themselves and the partnership for self assessment with HMRC.
Other partners should register for self assessment.
Decide whether you want to use a business name - there are certain rules.
Agree a Partnership agreement which:
states any contributions to the partnership and the percentage of ownership
outlines the allocation of profits and losses
sets out how decisions will be made and clarifies the authority of each partner
highlights the principal duties of each partner
sets out procedures for admitting a new partner or handling the departure of an existing partner
Setting up a limited liability partnership (LLP)
Choose two designated members - they have extra legal responsibilities (eg delivering accounts to Companies House).
Agree an LLP agreement (see above).
Decide on a name for the LLP, bearing in mind certain restrictions.
Register your LLP by: filling out an 'Application to register a limited liability partnership' (Form LL IN01) and sending this, together with the relevant fee, to Companies House; alternatively, you can use electronic software filing.
Once Companies House approves your registration, they will issue a certificate of incorporation - this provides evidence that your LLP has been legally registered.
Setting up a limited partnership
Decide who are the general partners and the limited partners (there must be at least one of each).
Choose an appropriate name.
Agree a Limited partnership agreement (see above).
Register your limited partnership by filling out Form LP5 and submit it to the Registrar of Companies.
Each partner must separately register for self assessment with HMRC.
After registration, a general partner can apply to the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) for authorisation to act as an Authorised Contractual Scheme. For more information, read the FCA’s guidance.
Setting up a Scottish limited partnership (SLP)
This is only available for businesses based in Scotland, which wish for their primary place of work to be in Scotland.
Decide who are the general partners and the limited partners (there must be at least one general partner).
Choose an appropriate name, including the ending of either ‘LP’ or ‘Limited Partnership’.
Agree on a partnership agreement (see above). Note that this agreement must be governed by the laws of Scotland.
Register your Scottish limited partnership by filling out Form LP5(s) and sending it, together with the relevant fee, to Companies House in Edinburgh.
Once Companies House approves your registration, they will issue a certificate of limited partnership registration - this provides evidence that your SLP has been legally registered.
For more information on the different types of partnerships, read Types of partnership.