Forming a business as a general partnership comes with its own set of regulations and responsibilities. Understanding the definition of a general partnership is critical to determining how to get started and ensure the best outcome. This article discusses how to get started on general partnership definition for an executive in the corporate business industry in the United States, mainly looking for legal support from lawyers to understand local regulation in Chicago.

What is a General Partnership?

A general partnership is a business structure in which two or more individuals, known as “general partners,” manage and operate a company by investing their own time and money. The most common type of general partnership is with two partners, but there is no limit on the number of partners. All partners share the profits and losses of the business, and they have the ability to bind the company to contracts, debts, and other obligations in the same way as if they were a single entity.

What is Needed for a General Partnership to Exist?

Creating a general partnership does not require formal paperwork or special documents; it arises by default when two or more individuals co-own and operate a business for profit. However, it is important for the general partners to have an agreement in writing to protect each partner’s interests and limit their liability. This document, known as the partnership agreement, should include the names of the partners, the business’s purpose, and specific details about how the business will be managed and any profits and losses will be divided.

What Types of Businesses are Suitable for a General Partnership?

General partnerships are most commonly used for small and medium-sized businesses that need minimal start-up capital. They can be used for businesses in a variety of industries, including retail, food service, professional services, and real estate. General partnerships are generally less expensive and easier to establish than other business structures, such as corporations or limited liability companies, making them an attractive option for smaller businesses.

What Are the Advantages and Disadvantages of a General Partnership?


• Tax benefits: One of the primary advantages of forming a general partnership is the tax benefits associated with the structure. General partnerships are pass-through entities, meaning the business itself is not taxed and any income received by the partners is taxed at the individual level. This allows for income to be taxed at a lower rate than it would be for a corporation.

• Occupations easiness:: General partnerships are easy to create and establish. Unlike other business structures, a general partnership does not require special paperwork or documents to be filled out with the state or federal government. This allows a business to get up and running quickly.

• Cost savings: General partnerships also provide cost-saving benefits. Unlike corporations and limited liability companies, there are no fees or annual reports required for general partnerships, allowing for a business to save money on administration and compliance costs.


• Unlimited personal liability: The biggest downside of a general partnership is that all of the partners are personally liable for the business’s debts and liabilities. This means that, if the business goes into debt or is sued, the partners’ personal assets could be at risk.

• Sole decision-making: When forming a general partnership, all decisions must be made jointly by all partners, and all partners share equal responsibility for the company. This can cause problems if there are disagreements between the partners, as decisions can take a long time to make if the partners cannot reach a consensus.

• Difficulty raising capital: A final disadvantage to forming a general partnership is that it can be difficult to raise capital, as individuals are usually not willing to invest in a partnership with liability that extends to the personal assets of each partner.

Understanding General Partnership Definition and Regulations in Chicago

Focusing on understanding local regulations for a Chicago-based general partnership is extremely important. Chicago’s regulations can be complex and have the potential to cause certain issues if not addressed properly. Working with business lawyers that have expertise on the local regulations for general partnerships in Chicago helps protect the interests of the partners and limit their liability.

The lawyers in UpCounsel’s network of experienced attorneys have many years of experience helping executives and businesses understand local regulations in Chicago to help protect their interests and ensure that a general partnership is set up correctly. With UpCounsel’s free platform and cost-effective legal services, executives can access high-quality attorneys on demand and have profiles of the online attorneys displayed with client reviews and ratings.

topics: general partnership, business structure, liability, business lawyers, Chicago regulations