A partnership at will and particular partnership arises when a partnership is formed with no fixed terms regarding how long the partnership will last. It could also mean that the partnership has been entered into for an open-ended amount of time. Simply put, the partnership is open-ended. Either party may dissolve a partnership at will with appropriate notice to the other party.

Benefits of Partnership at Will

  • Can be created between any entities
  • Can be terminated by either entity with proper notice
  • Can include provisions

What Is a Partnership at Will?

The partnership at will is considered to be out of date by many as it does not take into account the intricacies of today's business world. Today's business world offers much more flexibility as long as you have a formal written agreement defining the terms. The partnership at will also dictates that profits and losses are divided equally. Partnerships now are much more diverse in workload and responsibilities and this is reflected in the salary they each receive.

There are two exemptions to the partnership at will. The first exemption is when there is a provision in the contract for the duration of the partnership and the second exemption comes into play if there is a provision for the determination of the partnership.

When Is a Partnership Considered at Will?

Even in the event that the partnerships length is expressly provided for in the contract, if the duration cannot be implied, then the partnership will be considered as a partnership at will. Likewise, the same opinion pertains to the determination of partnership. If the contract determination is expressly provided for in the contract, including a term that the partnership will continue in certain a circumstance, yet if no determination can be implied, the partnership will be considered as a partnership at will.

There are some circumstances that require examination, such as when one party relinquishes his or her interest in favor of another. While a partnership at will does allow either party the right to dissolve the partnership at will with appropriate notice to the other party, in the event it is relinquished in favor of another is not appropriate and is a completely different matter.

What Happens to Outstanding Debts in a Partnership at Will?

Just because there are outstanding debts to be paid within the partnership at will firm does not mean that the parties cannot dissolve the partnership prior to the debts being paid. The debts can be resolved long after dissolution. The same principle applies to land on lease for a period of time. The lease does not serve as an agreement that the partnership will continue to exist for the duration of the time as set forth in the lease.

In the instance that a partner forms a sub-partnership with a stranger, the new sub-partnership is in no way bound to the duration of the principal partnership. When a partnership at will is formed for the sole purpose of carrying out a single or particular venture, the partnership is not dissolved when the venture has been completed in the absence of a contract.

It is not uncommon for a partnership at will to include a provision for retirement. A partnership at will does not prevent either party from entering into another partnership with another party for a single adventure or undertaking. Worth noting is that one single adventure or undertaking does not suggest the adventure or undertaking is a short-term event.

What Is the Difference Between a Single Venture and a Business?

The difference in a business and a single venture is that a single venture will end after the completion of the purchase and sale. There is no continuing relationship or responsibility once the transaction is complete. The dissolution of the partnership at will dissolves automatically at the end of a particular venture if the partnership was formed for the sole purpose of the said venture. Neither partner is required to act; the partnership just dissolves.

Shares in a partnership at will are considered to be equal unless the parties agree otherwise. When a partnership is formed and there is no indication in the partnership agreement as to when the relationship between the two entities is going to cease, then this means the partnership is at will. Both parties are at will to cancel the partnership at any time, however, as mentioned before, there has to be some type of notice from the entity wanting to end the relationship that outlines the preference to terminate the relationship.

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