Forming a Partnership

Posted on: May 19, 2015

If you are considering forming a partnership with someone for business, there are certain requirements that Fairfax business lawyers will inform you about. Here are some steps you should take when forming a partnership:

  • Choose a name. Your partnership should have a distinguishable name, either the surnames of the partners or a fictitious business name you come up with. A fictitious business name must be one that is not already in use and should be distinguishable from other registered businesses to avoid trademark infringement. Search through the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and Virginia Corporation Commission to find out if your name is already taken.
  • File an assumed name. If the name you choose is different from the surname of the partners, you must register the partnership with the clerk’s office of the circuit court of your county. You will need to file a Virginia Certificate of Assumed Name.
  • Write up a partnership agreement. Although this is not a legal requirement, it is a good idea to draft such an agreement to explicitly layout the terms of the business and how the partnership will work in case there are disagreements. This agreement should specify how profits, losses, and draws will be allocated; who has management duties or other forms of authority; how decisions are voted on; and what happens to the partnership if it is dissolved or goes bankrupt.
  • Obtain relevant licenses and permits. Depending on your area of business, you might need to file for various professional licenses or zoning clearances in accordance with state and local regulations. Check the Virginia Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation for more information.
  • Obtain an Employer Identification Number from the IRS. You must get this whether or not you have employees.

Contact Fairfax business lawyers

For more information on how to form a partnership, consult Fairfax business lawyers at Schleifman Law, PLC.