Set up a business partnership

Setting up

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

  • any losses your business makes
  • bills for things you buy for your business, like stock or equipment

Partners share the business’s profits, and each partner pays tax on their share.

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.

What you need to do

When you set up a business partnership you need to:

The ‘nominated partner’ is responsible for managing the partnership’s tax returns and keeping business records.

There are different rules for limited partnerships and limited liability partnerships (LLPs).

  1. Step 1 Check if being self-employed is right for you

  2. Step 2 Choose the name you want to trade under

    1. Check the rules for sole trader business names

    You can register a trade mark if you want to stop people from trading under your business name.

    1. Apply to register a trade mark
  3. Step 3 Check what records you'll need to keep

  4. Step 4 Register for tax

    To pay tax, you'll need to register for Self Assessment.

    1. Apply for a National Insurance number if you do not have one
    2. Register for Self Assessment

    You might need to register in a different way if:

    You may also need to register for VAT.

    1. Check if you need to register for VAT