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General Partnership

A General Partnership is a business owned by two or more individuals or other business entities. Although it is not required, it is strongly recommended that a general partnership prepare a written partnership agreement that outlines the business’ structure and each partner’s responsibilities. If the partnership owns real property, the partnership agreement should be filed in the county where the property is located with the office that keeps real estate records. Otherwise, there is no requirement to file the agreement with any state or federal agency. If the partners are operating the business under a name other than their own legal names, the business name must be registered as a trade name with the Colorado Secretary of State online at

Advantages — Partnerships have few legal requirements for formation. Partnerships are able to pool the financial, professional and managerial talents and resources of two or more individuals. A partnership is financed through the capital contributions of the partners and by borrowing money. The profits and losses of the business are reported annually on federal and state partnership returns. However, there are no partnership taxes. The partners are individually responsible for the taxes on their personal income tax returns. Profits and losses may be divided among the partners in whatever manner determined by the partners.

Disadvantages — The partners in a general partnership are personally liable for all business debts. Even if the partnership agreement specifies a defined split in profits, each partner is 100 percent responsible for all liabilities and debts. The personal assets of any one or all of the partners may be attached to cover the partnership’s liabilities, regardless of which partner incurred the liability or debt.

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