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  Start-up flow chart: The legal formats for a business.

Related Pages
Legal formats:
Useful links:

 In brief

Setting up:

Partners need to register as self-employed. It is wise to seek the advice of a solicitor and form a 'deed of partnership' in case of 'argie bargies'.
Tip: Useful 'legal document templates' can be downloaded from Simply Docs for a small fee.


If the business fails, then the owners are fully responsible for all the business' debts.


The partner's share responsiblity for controlling the business.


More often than not, partners' personal money.


All profits are shared between the partners (as agreed within the 'deed of partnership').

Taxes Etc.:

Self employed status. Even if the partner's don't draw on the profits they are still taxed. Losses can be offset against tax on other income.


The partnership is dissolved if one of the partners dies, resigns, or becomes bankrupt.


Unlike other business formats, partnerships (and sole traders) can start trading straight away, although certain types of businesses may need a licence to trade.
If trading under a name other than that of the owners, must display names of owners and an address, for each, at which documents can be served.
Seek advice from professionals such as solicitors or accountants and business support organisations...

Tip: Useful 'legal document templates' can be downloaded from Simply Docs for a small fee.

Find a solicitor / law firm near you.


England. Business Link (signpost line):
T. (0845) 756 7765
Wales. Business Connect:
T. (0845) 796 97 98
Scotland. Scottish Business Shops:
T. (0800) 78 78 78

Most of this information was sourced from the DTI publications: A Guide to Help for Small Business, (URN 99/1112) & Setting up in Business a guide to regulatory Requirements, (URN 99/833)


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