Partnerships in Ireland

A partnership is a relationship which exists between persons/corporate bodies carrying on a business in common with a view to making a profit. It is an unincorporated business organisation, of which there are two types in Ireland;

  1. The Limited Partnership (LP)
  2. The General Partnership (firm)

Limited Partnerships

Limited Partnerships are available to register in Ireland, however, they are uncommon. LPs are governed by the Limited Partnerships Act 1907 and must consist of at least one General Partner and one Limited Partner. The partnership should not consist of more than 20 persons or, if carrying on the business of banking, of more than 10 persons. The general partner(s) is/are liable for all the debts and obligations of the firm. The limited partners contribute a stated amount of capital and are not liable for the debts of the partnership beyond the amount contributed. A partnership can be made up of natural persons or corporate entities. The register of Limited Partnerships is held by the Companies Registration Office in Ireland

While not required under law, we recommend putting a ‘Partnership Agreement’ which is often referred to as a ‘Partnership Deed’ in place which binds the partners to a set of agreed principles as to how the LP is managed, the distribution of property, admission of new partners and decisions for how the finance of the LP is managed. Visit our service page for more information on Limited Partnerships in Ireland.

General Partnerships

General Partnerships are also available to register in Ireland and are more common than LPs. Also known as ‘firms’, these partnerships fall under the Partnerships Act 1980. These partnerships do not have limited liability, so each partner can be held personally liable for the debts of the partnership. Many professional practices such as law firms and accountancy practices are registered as General Partnerships. Visit our service page for more information on how to register a General Partnership in Ireland.

Again, the Partnership Agreement is not required under law to register a General Partnership however we do recommend putting one in place to bind the partners to a clear agreement as to how the General Partnership is managed, the distribution of property, admission of new partners and decisions for how the finance of the partnership is managed.

Please note that neither a Limited Partnership nor a General Partnership is considered a body corporate and does not have separate legal personality from that of its partners. However, with the risk of liability comes the privilege of privacy in that partnerships in Ireland need not submit their financial statements to the Registrar of Companies. Most people opt to register a limited company as they have the protection of limited liability, with the price of having to submit financial statements to the Registrar of Companies each year.

If you would like to have a discussion with our experts as to whether you need a partnership or company, please contact us today or give our sales team a call on 01-6461625.

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