Partnerships are commonly used to conduct business in Australia. As a business structure a partnership combines flexibility with informality. There is no requirement for a partnership to be registered on any public register.

Compared with other forms of business enterprise, partnerships can be relatively inexpensive to form and to operate and relatively simple to administer. These features suit small business proprietors and professionals.

Practice area overview

A partnership consists of two or more partners (to a maximum of 20 except in the case of certain professional partnerships) carrying on business with a view to sharing its profits. A partnership is different from a joint venture.

Other features of a partnership are:

  • A partnership is not a separate legal entity from the partners themselves.
  • Partners may be individuals or companies, resident in Australia or not.
  • Partners are jointly and severally liable for all liabilities of the partnership (which is to be contrasted with companies and limited liability partnerships).
  • Each State and Territory has its own partnership legislation which, together with the terms of any partnership agreement and the common law, governs the relationship of the partners.
  • Partnerships are not required to file any information concerning the partnership on any public register (except the names of partners under applicable business names legislation) and therefore confidentiality of trading results of the partnership (but not of any corporation that is a partner) can be preserved.
  • As a partnership is not subject to the Corporations Act, some legal and administrative costs associated with the more regulated companies are avoided. A partnership need not be audited.
  • A partnership is not taxed as a separate entity.
  • A partnership is obliged to file an annual tax return allocating the taxable income or loss among the partners.
  • Each partner in its own tax return, for the same tax year, must include its own share of taxable income or loss of the partnership.
  • The partners must adopt a uniform approach to the tax treatment of income and expenditure of the partnership business.


What we do

We can help you by:

  • Advising you on the features and benefits of a partnership for you as opposed to other business entities and structures.
  • Write a partnership agreement to meet your requirements.
  • Advise and write for you procedures and documents required for management of your partnership.
  • Advise you on and implement subsequent amendments to your partnership deed.
  • Advise you as to the rights and obligations of the partners.
  • Advise you in partnership disputes including the expulsion of a partner and dissolution of the partnership by application to.

Related Practice Areas


We think outside the square

We help our clients comply with changing legal requirements and seek to ‘think outside the square’ to provide our clients with solution oriented legal services, with attention to detail.