”What is LLP” is a common question from entrepreneurs. A limited liability partnership (LLP) is a type of organization that allows the layout of the business to be structured in a non-traditional manner while reducing the liability of its owners. This type of operation also allows owners to function at the same level and status within the company.

LLPs are entities of two or more individuals that come together with the purpose of creating a legal partnership to provide good or services while limiting each person’s financial risk. In some cases, the only potential loss for a person is the financial investment they’ve made to start the business. However, this is dependent on the state in which they live and the formation documents.

The liability level of each partner in an LLP is dictated by their state government. While some territories provide reduced liability for all types of potential risks, others only limit it if a failure or loss is caused by a negligent partner.

While there isn’t a limit to the number of partners that can take part in an LLP, there is a minimum requirement of two people. There’s also not a minimum amount of capital needed to start the organization. LLPs can exist in any type of industry.

Benefits of Forming an LLP

There are many benefits to forming an LLP. Some of the reasons that entrepreneurs decide to start an LLP over another type of business structure include:

  • Liability: The liability of each partner is limited to the agreed upon amount in the formation documentation.

  • Security Laws: LLPs aren’t usually required to follow security laws when ownership is transferred.

  • Ease of Formation: This type of legal partnership is fairly easy to create, and formation is accompanied by low costs.

  • Individual Responsibility: Individuals aren’t held responsible for the acts of other members of the partnership.  

  • Restrictions: LLPs face fewer restrictions and compliance demands that many other business types.

These benefits are what often draw individuals to this type of business structure in the first place as opposed to other options like a Limited Liability Company (LLC).

Disadvantages of Forming an LLP

LLPs aren’t without their disadvantages. Here are some of the common complaints among business owners:

  • Stocks: LLPs can’t release stocks to the public. This reduces the potential earnings of the organization because they can’t benefit from public funds.

  • Recognition: Since LLPs are controlled by the state government and not a federal entity, there can be issues with transferring legal rights outside of the main state of operation. This is an issue because it can affect the level of liability of the partnership if they face legal issues in another state.

  • Protection Level: While the limitation of liability is a popular reason for choosing an LLP, there are other types of structures that limit liability but provide more thorough protection to the owners.

An LLP is a great option for many groups of individuals who want to start a business, but it won’t work for everyone. It’s important to consider both the advantages and disadvantages of a partnership before choosing your business structure.

LLP VS Traditional Partnership Firm

The main difference between an LLP and a traditional business partnership is legal liability. In a normal partnership, all partners hold the exact same amount of liability regardless of negligence. LLP removes this responsibly from non-offending partners, and it also prevents each partner from losing more than the amount agreed upon in the original documents. These stipulations also apply outside of the partnership and include issues not related to the business.

Liability

One of the most common reasons that entrepreneurs choose an LLP is because of the reduced liability of each partner. Only the individual responsible for the issue is held liable if a lawsuit is brought about. This includes things like unpaid debts and harm caused as result of negligence. When this occurs, the non-responsible partner(s) can avoid repercussions of the lawsuit.  

For this reason, LLPs are popular in the medical, legal, and financial industries. The structure of the business prevents the other partners from being held liable which is beneficial for things like malpractices lawsuits. It is important to note that if the partnership as a whole signed contracts or agreed to a particular debt, all of the partners can be held financially responsible.

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