'Ordinary' business partnership

In a business partnership, you and your business partner (or partners) personally share responsibility for your business.

You can share all your business’s profits between the partners. Each partner pays tax on their share of the profits.

Partnerships in Scotland (known as ‘firms’) are different, and have a ‘legal personality’ separate from the individual partners.

Legal responsibilities
You’re personally responsible for your share of:
  • Any losses your business makes 
  • Bills for things you buy for your business, like stock or equipment 
You can set up a limited partnership or limited liability partnership if you don’t want to be personally responsible for a business’ losses.

A partner doesn’t have to be an actual person. For example, a limited company counts as a ‘legal person’, and can also be a partner in a partnership.

You must choose a name for your partnership and register it with HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).


Tax responsibilities
The nominated partner must send a partnership Self-Assessment tax return every year.

All the partners must:

The partnership will also have to register for VAT if you expect its takings to be more than £82,000 a year.