A Partnership firm is a business entity created by persons who have agreed to share profits or loss of the business. Partnerships are a very good choice of business entity for small enterprises wherein two or more persons decides to contribute to a business and share the profits or losses. In India, Partnerships are widely prevalent because of its ease of formation and minimal regulatory compliance. Also, the concept of LLP was introduced only in 2010, whereas the Partnership Act, 1932 has been in existence before the independence of India. Hence, partnership firms are the most prevalent type of business entity wherein a group of people are involved.
There are two types of Partnership, registered Partnership and unregistered Partnership. In terms of the Indian Partnership Act, 1932, (Act), the only criterion to commence business as a partnership is the finalisation and execution of a Partnership Deed between the Partners. The Act does not require the Partnership Deed/Partnership Firm to be registered and in other words, does not require the Partnership Firm to be a registered Firm. Therefore various partnership businesses exist as an unregistered firm.
There are no penalties for non-registration of a partnership firm, and a partnership firm can even be registered after formation. However, unregistered partnership firms have certain rights denied in Section 69 of the Partnership Act, which deals with the effects of non-registration of a partnership firm. Some of the disadvantages of an unregistered firm are:
Therefore, any partnership should be registered sooner or later.
Cost: The cost for registration of LLP is normally higher than the cost for registration of a partnership firm. LLP registration can be completed online through IndiaFilings at just Rs.5899. Partnership registration can be completed online through IndiaFilings at just Rs.5899.
Authority: LLPs are registered in India under the Ministry of Corporate Affairs, Central Government. Partnership firms are registered with the Registrar of Firms, Controlled by the respective State Government in which the firm is registered.
Limited Liability Protection: The main advantage of a Limited Liability Partnership over a traditional partnership firm is that in an LLP, one partner is not responsible or liable for another partner's misconduct or negligence. An LLP also provides limited liability protection for the owners from the debts of the LLP. However, unlike private limited company shareholder, the partners of an LLP have the right to manage the business directly.
Number of Partners: LLPs and Partnership Firms must have a minimum of two partners to be registered. Post incorporation, an LLP can have unlimited partners. In case of a Partnership Firm, if the number of partners at any time reduces below the mandatory minimum of 2 due to death, incapacitation or resignation of a Partner, the partnership firm would stand dissolved. On the other hand, in case of an LLP, if the number of Partners reduces below 2, the sole Partner can still find a new Partner to fill the position without dissolution of the LLP.
A partnership firm can be registered under Section 58 of the Indian Partnership Act at any time, even subsequent to the formation. The registration of a partnership firm is done through the Registrar of Firm in which the partnership firm is situated. When the Registrar of Firms is satisfied that the provisions of Section 58 are complied with, a record of entry of the statement is made in the Register of Firms and Certificate of Registration is issued.
The application for registration of Partnership Firm must contain the prescribed registration form for incorporation of a company, identity proof/address proof of Partners, certified a true copy of the Partnership deed entered into and proof of the principal place of business.
As identity and address proof of the Partners, any of the following two documents can be submitted:
Proof of the principal place of business can be established by submitting the following documents:
One of the main advantages of a Partnership Firm is that there are very minimal requirements in terms of compliance. For instance, a Company or LLP requires the annual filing of its financial statements with the Registrar of Companies. Such documents filed with the MCA are also made public documents. On the other hand, registered/unregistered Partnership Firms are not required to file any annual returns, and the financial statements of a partnership firm would NOT be made publicly available. Also, the accounts of a registered / unregistered partnership firm are not required to be audited. Whereas, the accounts of a Limited Liability Partnership (LLP) are required to be audited by a practising Chartered Accountant when the turnover exceeds Rs.40 lakhs per annum or when capital contribution exceeds Rs. 25 lakhs.
Partnership firm does not provide its Partners with limited liability protection and does not have perpetual existence. Also, the interest of a Partner in a Partnership firm is not easily transferrable, and the ownership structure does not allow for investment from Angel Investors, Venture Capitalists or Private Equity Firms. Banks / Financial Institutions also prefer to lend to Companies than Partnership Firms as Companies are separate entities and the regulatory requirement for financial reporting of Companies - makes a company more transparent and structured.
Partnership firms may be assessed either as a partnership firm or as an association of persons(AOP). Interest paid to partners, salary, bonus, commission, or remuneration to a partner will be allowed as a deduction paid to a working partner who is an individual. However, when the Partnership Firm is assessed as an AOP, the above deductions cannot be claimed. Therefore, for a partnership firm, it is more advantageous to be assessed as a partnership firm than as an AOP. For a partnership to be assessed as a firm, the partnership should be evidenced by a written partnership deed. Income tax return of a partnership firm is filed in Form ITR-5.
At IndiaFilings, we can help you register a partnership firm anywhere in India in less than seven working days. At the beginning of the engagement, an Advisor from IndiaFilings will brief you about the process and provide you with a list of documents required for registration of partnership firm. You can submit the information and documents required through our mobile app or website. Once, the documents and information are verified, a partnership deed will be drafted and sent to the Partners. All the Partners must sign the document on stamp paper and upload a copy on the platform. Once, the signed partnership deed is available; it is registered with the concerned Registrar of Firms and Certificate of Registration of Partnership Firm is provided. In addition to delivering the Certificate of Registration of Partnership Firm, we can also help you open a Bank Current Account in the name of the partnership firm through ICICI or DBS Bank.
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A comparison of the popular types of business entity in India, viz. Proprietorship vs Partnership vs LLP vs Private Limited Company vs One Person Company.
Guide to partnership firm in India including the various types and features. The law relating to partnership firm in India is prescribed in the Indian Partnership Act of 1932. This Act lays down the rights and duties of the partners between themselves and other legal relations between partners and third persons, which are incidental to the formation of a partnership.
A partnership firm is one of the popular types of legal entity wherein two persons join together to undertake a business for profit. Partnership firms are one of the easiest to start. The only requirement for starting a partnership firm in most cases is a partnership deed.
An overview of the procedure for conversion of partnership into LLP. The effects and requirements after conversion of the firm to LLP are also discussed.
Guide to partnership firm bank account opening. To open bank account for partnership - partnership deed, identity and address proof of Partners is required.
File income tax return for a partnership firm online through IndiaFilings. IndiaFilings offers Tax Expert support for maintaining compliance for a partnership firm from preparation of financial statements to filing of tax return. Maintain compliance for a Partnership Firm at just Rs.9899.
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Open a new or link your existing ICICI bank current account with LEDGERS for seamless bank account reconciliation, account balance check and sending of payments through NEFT / RTGS / IMPS.
Open a new or link your existing DBS bank business account with LEDGERS for seamless bank account reconciliation, account balance check and sending of payments through NEFT / RTGS / IMPS.
The Reserve Bank of India has laid out Know Your Customer (KYC) norms for opening of current account in the name of a partnership firms and all Banks have procedure to open partnership current account in business name based on partnership deed. Partnership deed is required to open a current account or business account for a partnership firms.
The Partner must be an Indian citizen and a Resident of India. Non-Resident Indians and Persons of Indian Origin can only invest in a Proprietorship with prior approval of the Government of India.
PAN Card for the Partners along with identity and address proof is required. It is recommended to draft a Partnership deed and have it signed by all the Partners in the firm.
There is no limit on the minimum capital for starting a Partnership firm. Therefore, a Partnership firm can be started with any amount of minimum capital.
An IndiaFilings Associate will understand your business requirements and help you start a Partnership firm by drafting the Partnership deed. Based on the requirements, IndiaFilings can also help register the Partnership deed with the relevant Authorities to make the Partnership Firm a Registered Partnership firm.
Partnership firms are registered by the Registrar of Firms, under the Indian Partnership Act, 1932.
Only a registered Partnership firm can file a suit in any court against the firm or other partners for the enforcement of any right arising from a contract or right conferred by the Partnership Act. Also, only a Registered Partnership firm can claim a set off (i.e. mutual adjustment of debts owned by the disputant parties to one another) or other proceedings in a dispute with a third party. Hence, it is advisable for Partnership firms to get itself registered sooner or later.
To open a bank account for a Partnership firm, a registered Partnership deed along with identity and address proof of the Partners need to be provided.
No, a Partnership firm has no separate legal existence of its own i.e., the Partnership firm and the partners are one and the same in the eyes of law. Liability of the Partners is also unlimited, and the partners are said to be jointly and severally liable for the liabilities of the firm. This means that if the assets and property of the firm is insufficient to meet the debts of the firm, the creditors can recover their loans from the personal property of the individual partners.
If the Partnership firm is registered, the Partnership deed will be registered and a Registration Certificate will be issued by the Registrar of Firms.
Partnership firms are business entity that are owned, managed and controlled by one person. So Partners cannot be inducted into a Partnership firm.
There are restrictions on the transfer of ownership interest in a Partnership firm. A Partner cannot transfer his/her interest in the firm to any person (except to the existing partners) without the unanimous consent of all other partners.
Indian Nationals and Indian Residents are allowed to invest in a Partnership firm without any approval. Usually those who invest in the Partnership firm become a Partner of the firm and in the absence of any agreement to the contrary, all partners will have a right to participate in the activities of the business.
Partnership firm will have to file their annual tax return with the Income Tax Department. Other tax filings like service tax filing or VAT/CST filing may be necessary from time to time, based on the business activity performed. However, annual report or accounts need not be filed with the Ministry or Corporate Affairs, which is required for Limited Liability Partnerships and Companies.
It is not necessary for Partnerships to prepare audited financial statements each year. However, a tax audit may be necessary based on turnover and other criterion.
Yes, there are procedures for converting a Partnership business into a Company or a LLP at a later date. However, the procedures to convert a Partnership firm into a Company or LLP are cumbersome, expensive and time-consuming. Therefore, it is wise for many entrepreneurs to consider and start a LLP or Company instead of a Partnership firm.
Last updated: Jan 13, 2021