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HMRC internal manual

VAT Registration

HM Revenue & Customs
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Entity to be registered: partnerships: definition

A partnership is defined in the Partnership Act 1890, section 1(1) as ‘the relation which subsists between persons carrying on a business in common with a view to profit’. For the purposes of the Partnership Act 1890, persons acting in partnership are collectively called ‘a firm’. The terms ‘partnership’ and ‘firm’ are, to all intents and purposes, interchangeable.

Basically put, a partnership is an unincorporated association (although individual partners may be corporate bodies) in which the agreement between the parties is such that the relationship

  • between themselves, and
  • between themselves and third parties

is governed by the Partnership Act.

It is the sum of the members that is the ‘person’.