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Setting up a partnership

It's important to ensure that, whichever type of partnership agreement you choose, it's set up correctly to fulfil any legal requirements and help avoid future disputes.

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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

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.

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.

For more information on the different types of partnerships, read Types of partnership.

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