Q: What Is A Limited Partnership?
A: A limited partnership is a specific
type of partnership that is slightly different from
the norm. While partnerships are comprised of two
or more people who share equally in a business, limited
partnerships involve people who do not have equal
share in the business' day-to-day workings. The limited
liability in the partnership is given to members that
contribute money (capital) to the business, in exchange
for giving up the freedoms of running things.
With that little bit of freedom lost, the limited contributors
are held accountable only for the amount of money they invest into
the partnership. In other words, the profits of limited partnerships'
members are untouchable.
Q: Who Participates And What Do They Gain?
A: Anyone with enough money can participate in a limited partnership.
In a lot of cases, the minimum starting amount that a new member
must contribute is between $1,000 and $20,000, depending upon where
you're setting up your business. Sometimes, it may be more and sometimes
it may be less. Individual states have different laws, as per usual,
and it's best to read up on them before setting out to build your
The participants in a limited partnership vary. There are two different
kinds of members in this type of partnership: general members, who
handle the workings of the business and make all of the decisions
with or without counsel from the other members; and contributing
or limited members, who provide money with which the business works.
Now, at first this may sound unfair, but the limited members share
in the profits just as much as everyone else. They are, as stated
before, accountable only for the money they invest.
Q: What Are The Benefits?
- Limited accountability for members
Investing members cannot be held accountable beyond what they put
into the partnership. When the partnership is in trouble, whether
it is with lawsuits or with other types of debt, the money that
the limited members invest can be used to pay off the balance. However,
the limited members' personal assets, like houses and vehicles,
cannot be touched by the long arm of creditors in order to pay off
what the partnership owes. The general members bear that burden.
- Untouchable personal profits
The money that individual limited members make cannot be touched,
either. This is because, like personal (physical) assets, these
profits belong to them and them alone. Perhaps limited partners
stand the most to gain and the least to lose in partnerships of
- Relatively informal business
Partnerships are, overall, very informal types of business. They
do not require any kind of formal legal accords to come together.
As soon as people agree to start a business, a partnership is formed.
Partnerships do not require formal minutes, resolutions, accords,
or stock certificates, and are generally for-profit, for the members
only. The agreements made by all of the members are generally written
down in a partnership agreement.
Q: What Are The Disadvantages?
- General Partners have full personal accountability
With benefits also come responsibilities. The general members of
a limited partnership are responsible for all the things that limited
members are not. This is good for the limited member, but bad for
the general one.
- Tax accountability
Partnerships are not separate from their individual members. As
it is, all of the members of the partnership must contribute to
paying the taxes incurred upon the partnership itself. Every partner
must make quarterly payments to the IRS for taxes.
Q: How Are Limited Partnerships Made?
Partnerships are made as soon as a business agreement is reached
between two or more people. The limited members are liable only
for the money that they put into the business, and then everyone
profits. Money earned is divided between all of the members with
all fairness, so both limited and general partners are able to profit