Most Important Forms for a Business Partnership

Most Important Forms for a Business Partnership

Business partnerships offer a powerful synergy that you won't find flying solo. Team up with another like-minded individual, and your business has even more potential to soar. However, before you venture into collaboration, it's essential to familiarize yourself with the paperwork you'll need for your business partnership.

Here are eight of the most important forms for properly setting up and running a business partnership.

Partnership Agreement

Also known as a partnership contract or articles of partnership, a partnership agreement is one of the most important forms to fill out before opening for business. This contract between you and another person or persons outlines your decision to team up and go into a business partnership together.

Partnership agreements cover the responsibilities of each partner. This agreement outlines the rules of the partnership, including regulations for allocation and distribution of profits and losses.

For the best interests of everyone involved, anyone entering a business relationship should draw up a partnership agreement. Should issues arise, partnerships between friends and family are treated equally in the eyes of the law. Without a written agreement, you must defer to the laws of your state should there be conflicts. Having the rules of the partnership explicitly spelled out can lead to a speedy resolution if there are disagreements.

Doing Business As (DBA)

If you and your partner will be doing business under any name other than your own legal names, you need to register your company name as a "doing business as" (DBA). Also known as a fictitious business name application, this registration is done through a city, county, or state organization, depending on where you live. For example, in California, you register with your county recorder's office, whereas you register with the Secretary of State in Alabama.

A DBA contains the business's proposed name, location, and other pertinent facts, including a description of its services or products. Prior to applying for a DBA, you must make sure that no one else is using the same company name. This may include publishing your intent to use the DBA in a newspaper and waiting a required amount of time to see if anyone comes forth as already using the name. 

Filing fees are also required. Costs vary.

IRS Form SS-4

Not surprisingly, Uncle Sam is involved in your business partnership. When you form a partnership, you must file Form SS-4 with the Internal Revenue Service. This is an application for a federal tax ID number, also known as an employer identification number (EIN). You and your business partner will file company taxes under your company EIN, not your social security numbers.

Partnership Agreement Amendment

One constant in business is that circumstances change. A partnership agreement amendment makes changes to your original partnership agreement while retaining most of the original document. This is a good way to make changes without having to redo your entire partnership agreement. You and your business partner retain the same protections as outlined in the original partnership agreement.

Partnership agreement amendments are done for a variety of reasons. These can include a change in name for one or both partners and other revisions. You may also wish to add information to various sections of the agreement or delete information. The partnership agreement amendment allows you to make any changes you see fit to benefit your business alliance.

Assignment of Partnership Interest

If a partnership member decides to leave or sell their stake in the business to a third party, an assignment of partnership interest form is required. This form covers the details of the transfer, including information about the new partner. When an assignment of partnership interest is executed, the new partner assumes the former partner's benefits, responsibilities, and liabilities.

Partnership Withdrawal

In addition to an assignment of partnership interest, you will also need to fill out a partnership withdrawal. This form serves as an official notice of the withdrawal of a partner from a partnership.

Trademark Assignment

A trademark is a symbol, design, word, or phrase that makes your company easily recognizable and memorable. If your business partnership will be using an existing trademark, you need a trademark assignment before you can use it. You might also need a trademark assignment if you restructure your company. 

A trademark assignment form transfers ownership of an existing trademark. The document ensures that the trademark's rights are transferred from one person to another and that the trademark stays protected. Without a trademark assignment, a trademark can become available to the general public. This can lead to another company using the trademark and threatening your brand's reputation.

Partnership Dissolution Agreement

At some point, you may decide to dissolve your partnership and move on to something new. If this occurs, you will need to file a partnership dissolution agreement. This document constitutes a formal announcement of your intent to dissolve your partnership. The partnership dissolution agreement outlines how to distribute the company's remaining assets and liabilities.

You can use a partnership dissolution agreement regardless of the reason for dissolving the partnership. In the agreement, you will assign the responsibilities and obligations for settling the company's affairs to a liquidating partner. That person will see to it that the business is liquidated and closed.

Running a business partnership can be a satisfying journey filled with successes and learning experiences. When you decide to embark on the business partnership adventure, don't forget to do the paperwork.

It helps to know there is guidance about what forms you need to fill out to make your business compliant. Here at 360 Legal Forms, we're happy to answer any questions you may have about the required forms you need for setting up your business partnership. Sign up for our Free Trial to gain access to hundreds of attorney-vetted legal forms. 

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