It’s important to prepare for your first appointment with a limited partnership (LP) or business lawyer. In order to evaluate your claim and provide accurate legal advice, the lawyer must have a lot of information. You can help streamline the interview process by compiling this data in advance. While every lawyer has his or her own interview process, this is a list of common questions.
A limited partnership is a type of business organization that permits both general and limited (or silent) partners. In an LP, general partners can actively participate in the business’ management and profits are distributed according to its partnership agreement. However, limited partners do not engage in day-to-day operations and are protected from most types of liability. There are also tax benefits to limited partnerships.
If you are concerned about the liability of your general partners, consider forming a limited liability partnership (LLP) or limited liability company (LLC). A business lawyer can help you determine whether an LP is the best business structure for your venture.
The process for creating a limited partnership varies from state to state. Typically, it involves completing a series of forms, paying fees, and drafting a partnership agreement. A partnership agreement sets out each partner’s rights and responsibilities. It also details procedures for dispute resolution, profit distribution, and the partnership’s dissolution. If you have an existing partnership or other business agreement, bring it with you.
In order to guide you through your state’s procedure, the lawyer will need some specific information. Typically, you will be asked:
- Do you have an existing business organization?
- What kind of goods or services does your business provide?
- What name you are planning to give your LP?
- What are the names and business roles of your partners?
- Who are your limited partners?
- How much are your limited partners investing in your business?
- What is your business address and contact information?
- Have you appointed a registered agent?
- Do you have malpractice and other business-related insurance?
- Do you have existing business licenses, permits, or tax identification numbers?
- How financially secure is your business?
Additionally, be prepared to describe how your business currently operates.
It is important to bring any information you have to your first appointment. This may include:
- Any documents dealing with your current business organization (including existing partnership agreements),
- The names and contact information for your general and limited partners,
- Information concerning your business’ finances,
- Any insurance or malpractice policies, and
- Your business licenses, permits, and tax identification numbers.
This information will help the lawyer evaluate and understand your business organization.
Creating a limited partnership involves more than filling out a simple form and paying a fee. You must draft a detailed partnership agreement that defines the partners’ rights and responsibilities. You also must obtain sufficient insurance coverage and may have to file ongoing reports with your state’s business agency. This can be difficult to do alone. An experienced business lawyer can evaluate your business model, help you form the correct type of business, and protect you and your partners’ interests.