How to Create a General Partnership in Washington: A Beginner’s Guide


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Create a General Partnership in Washington

Forming a general partnership in Washington can be a great way to combine your skills, resources, and ideas to create a thriving business. In Washington, also known as The Evergreen State, general partnerships are relatively easy to establish, making them an attractive option for entrepreneurs who want to keep things simple and cost-effective.

This article will guide you through the essential steps to start a general partnership in Washington. From understanding the legal requirements and drafting a partnership agreement to registering your partnership and obtaining necessary permits, we’ll provide you with the necessary tools and insights to help you launch your business venture. Whether you’re opening a boutique retail store or a cutting-edge tech startup, this comprehensive guide will help you navigate the process of starting a general partnership in Washington.

What is General Partnership In Washington

It is a business structure where two or more people come together to form a jointly owned business. In the general partnership business, the partners agree upon sharing assets, responsibilities, profits, and liabilities (legal & financial). In a general partnership, Partners consent to carry potentially unlimited liability personally. Liabilities are not restricted as they would be, for example, in a limited liability partnership (LLP) or a limited liability company (LLC) structure. Unlike the LLCs, a partner, in this case, can be legally sued for any business debts, and a possibility of seizure of personal assets can occur.

Before you start setting up your general partnership, it is advised that you consult a legal person. They will know what is best for you and your business. You can always form an LLC instead of a general partnership to protect your personal assets from business debts.

LLCBuddy Editorial Team

How to Create a General Partnership in Washington

To create a general partnership in Washington, you must follow the guidelines below: forming a business name, making a partnership agreement, requesting an EIN, getting a license and permit, getting a state-based tax ID, and opening a bank account.

Step 1: Choose a Business Name in Washington

Naming your business is one of the most crucial activities during the startup phase. Your general partnership name is the foundation for your brand in Washington and is what clients use to connect you to the products or services you offer. Legal procedures should be taken into account when choosing your partnership name. Choose a business name that will enable you to develop a strong brand identity without being hampered by irrelevant factors.

If you want to set up an LLC, there is a complete guide on Washington LLC name guidelines for a proper business name. Here are some guidelines you must follow while naming your general partnership-

  • Name availability: The name should be available, and no other entity should have the same name in Washington.
  • Trademarks
  • Limit of restricted words that need a license in Washington

In Washington, if you register your general partnership business with the Washington Secretary of State, then the name you choose will be the company’s official name. On the contrary, unregistered general partnership businesses use the last name of all of their partners by default. For instance, if Selena Gomez and Hailey Beiber enter business together, the partnership name is “Gomez & Bieber” by default if unregistered. However, if you would like to form a business name under something more appropriate, such as “EJI Design and Build,” then you’ll need to file a “Doing Business As (DBA)” name with Washington SOS.

In Washington, if you do not wish to file your general partnership business right away but want to hold the name that you have decided on, then you can reserve your business name for 180 days. You must file a name reservation application with the SOS to keep the name.

Step 2: Make a Partnership Agreement

After you have chosen a business name for your general partnership, the next step would be making a partnership agreement in Washington. A partnership agreement is a legal contract that specifies how a for-profit company would operate when run by two or more people.

The partnership agreement specifies each partner’s roles within the company, their ownership stakes, and their share of profits and losses. Additionally, it discusses business management guidelines and potential contingencies that may arise, such as a partner’s passing or a partner’s decision to leave the partnership. A partnership agreement should include the following:

  • Name of Partners
  • The principal address of the partnership
  • Purpose of the partnership
  • Terms of the partnership
  • Partnership start date and end date (if not for infinite time)
  • Partnership dissolution terms (for finite partnership)
  • Capital contribution of partners
  • Share of Interest of Partners
  • Profit distribution of partners (equal distribution by default, if not specifies any special condition)
  • Salary distribution (if applicable)
  • Partnership Management Terms
  • Terms of Partnership Sale

These key factors must be considered when forming or creating a partnership agreement in Washington. In this way, all business partners will understand what this is about and how to proceed if the mentioned scenarios happen in Washington.

Without a Partnership Agreement, your company will often be subject to the general partnership default laws of Washington. The default laws in Washington might not be appropriate for your requirements. Hence, it is important to have a transparent agreement while forming a partnership.

Step 3: Request an EIN in Washington

After documenting the partnership agreement, you should get or request an Employer Identification Number (EIN). An EIN will serve as the tax ID for your general partnership. EIN can be obtained from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). It is a 9-digit number similar to Social Security Number. EIN, however, is distinct from SSN. It is only used for business-related activities, particularly for submitting general taxes. The form must be completed and uploaded to the IRS website. Getting EIN is necessary whether you are opening an LLC in Washington, or a general partnership, or something else.

The application of an EIN in Washington can be through the following:

  • Apply Online- You can apply for EIN online, which is the most desirable and fastest method for users.
  • Apply by Fax- Another method of obtaining EIN is to fax Form SS-4 (PDF) after entering all the correct information to (855) 641-6935.
  • Apply by Mail- The EIN application Form SS-4 can be filed via mail. The processing time frame to receive the mail is 4 weeks.
  • Apply by Telephone-International Applicants – International applicants may call 267-941-1099 (not a toll-free number) from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. (Eastern Time) Monday through Friday to obtain their EIN.

After you have your EIN number, you can benefit in several ways. It will provide your general partnership with the final advantage necessary to operate fully without encountering legal or judicial issues. For more details about EIN for your business, you may check why you need EIN.

Step 4: License and Permit for General Partnership in Washington

Before your general partnership business operates in Washington, you must have a business license first. A business license is a document issued by a government agency that permits you to operate your business in the geographic region that that agency governs.

To legally operate your partnership, you must apply for a business license to Washington Secretary of State. In some states, you might need to obtain a Privilege License. Based on the business structure, you might need it. In Washington, partnership businesses do not need to get to obtain a privilege license. You might even need more than one license in Washington. Numerous general partnership licenses need to be filed and renewed regularly.

Step 5: Obtain Washington Tax ID Number

In Washington, to conduct a business, you must comply with the Washington State Department of Revenue. If you have a general partnership in Washington, you must obtain the Washington Tax ID number from Washington State Department of Revenue. Your partnership business must pay state taxes (if applicable).

Step 6: Open a Bank Account

Once you have filed and received your general partnership license, you should now open a bank account since you will use this account for yourself, your clients, and your employees.

Your business dealings in Washington might be simpler with a US business bank account because it boosts your company’s legitimacy and liquidity. Most banks demand an EIN for creating a business bank account for firms other than sole proprietorships. Also, keeping separate finances helps you avoid combining personal and professional finances.

Example of General Partnership in Washington

Individuals looking to collaborate and numerous kinds of service providers have chosen general partnerships as their preferred business entity. That’s frequently because of its simple design, low price, and simplicity of setup. Some general partnership examples include:

  • Providing professional services (architectural firms, medical clinics, etc.)
  • Selling goods at retail
  • Opening a restaurant
  • Business Consulting

General partnerships are also formed by partners who are spouses or other family members who want to operate a business together.

Important Information

Maintaining Business License in Washington

Now that you have established your general partnership, you must maintain or renew your business license every now and then. Make time to check the status of your licenses at least once per year. Then, you can keep from missing anything significant. If there are any issues, you can address them.

Paying your Taxes in Washington

Even if you have established your general partnership in Washington, pay your taxes and keep everything up to date so you won’t pay any penalty. Washington tax information will help you with what to pay before or during the operation of your professional corporation. You must check with Washington State Department of Revenue for more details.

Advantages of General Partnership in Washington

  • Foundation only requires two people: Forming a general partnership doesn’t need many people to operate. You can form a general partnership with a partner in mind and a business plan. It can be a group of friends or colleagues, a family member, or a spouse and wife partnership.
  • Equal Rights: Everyone is granted equal rights when a business is founded using a general partnership; each partner is free to express their ideas and choose what is best for the company’s success.
  • Management Option: One of the advantages of joining a general partnership is the opportunity to select the finest management options for the company. For this reason, large partnerships should draft an agreement describing each partner’s responsibilities inside the business. As a result, each partner’s leadership abilities are enhanced.
  • Flexibility: General Partnership is the basic form of a business structure since it can be converted into any business entity, such as LLC. If you have flexibility in applying for an LLC in Washington, you will have default rules set by law, and you need to have an operating agreement for this.
  • Pass-through taxation: The pass-through tax structure will make the general partnership business not pay twice the tax. Due to this structure, most start-ups and entrepreneurs in Washington apply for a GP or LLC. And one of the main advantages of a general partnership is that partners don’t have to pay for the losses collectively.

FAQs

What is a General Partnership in Washington?
A general partnership in Washington is a formal business structure that arises when two or more individuals or entities join together to conduct business. The partners share the profits and losses of the business, and each partner is personally liable for the business debts and liabilities.
What are the benefits of creating a General Partnership in Washington?
A general partnership in Washington offers the partners certain advantages, such as the ability to pool resources and expertise, flexibility in setting up the business, and pass-through taxation.
What are the drawbacks of creating a General Partnership in Washington?
The main disadvantage of forming a general partnership in Washington is that each partner is responsible for the debts and liabilities of the business. Additionally, the business may be subject to higher tax rates than other business structures.
Who can form a General Partnership in Washington?
To form a general partnership in Washington, at least two individuals or entities must join together to operate a business. The partners may be individuals, corporations, LLCs, or other entities.
What documents are needed to form a General Partnership in Washington?
Generally, a general partnership in Washington is formed when two or more individuals or entities enter into a partnership agreement. The agreement should include the rights, duties, and responsibilities of the partners, as well as provisions for the operation and management of the partnership.
How do I register a General Partnership in Washington?
Generally, a general partnership in Washington does not need to be registered with the state. However, the partnership may need to register with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the Washington Department of Revenue.
Do I need an EIN to form a General Partnership in Washington?
Yes, a general partnership in Washington must obtain a federal Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the IRS. The EIN is used to identify the partnership for tax purposes.
Is there a filing fee to form a General Partnership in Washington?
Generally, there is no filing fee to form a general partnership in Washington. However, the partnership may need to pay a fee to register with the IRS and the Washington Department of Revenue.
Are there ongoing requirements for a General Partnership in Washington?
Yes, a general partnership in Washington may be required to file annual reports with the state, as well as taxes with the IRS and the Washington Department of Revenue. The partners may also need to comply with other state and federal laws.
What tax rate applies to a General Partnership in Washington?
A general partnership in Washington is not subject to corporate income tax, but the business income is taxed at the individual partner level. This means that the partners will need to report the income and pay taxes on their personal income tax returns.
What are the liability protections for a General Partnership in Washington?
Generally, each partner in a general partnership in Washington is personally liable for any debts, obligations, and liabilities of the partnership.
Are there restrictions on the types of businesses that can be formed as a General Partnership in Washington?
Generally, no. Any type of business can be formed as a general partnership in Washington, provided it is legal.
How do I dissolve a General Partnership in Washington?
Generally, a general partnership in Washington can be dissolved by mutual agreement of the partners, or by court order. The partners may also need to notify the IRS and the Washington Department of Revenue of the dissolution.
How do I change the terms of a General Partnership in Washington?
Generally, a general partnership in Washington can be amended by mutual agreement of the partners. The amended agreement should be signed by all the partners and kept with the other partnership documents. The partners may also need to notify the IRS and the Washington Department of Revenue of any changes.
Are there restrictions on the partners of a General Partnership in Washington?
Generally, any individual or entity can be a partner in a general partnership in Washington, as long as it is legal. The partners may also need to comply with any restrictions imposed by the partnership agreement.
Is a General Partnership in Washington subject to minimum capital requirements?
Generally, no. A general partnership in Washington does not need to meet any minimum capital requirements.
Is a General Partnership in Washington required to hold annual meetings?
Generally, no. A general partnership in Washington is not required to hold annual meetings, but the partners may decide to do so to discuss the business and make decisions.
Is a General Partnership in Washington required to have a board of directors?
Generally, no. A general partnership in Washington is not required to have a board of directors, as it is managed by the partners.
Is a General Partnership in Washington subject to any state or local taxes?
Yes, a general partnership in Washington may be subject to state and local taxes, such as business and occupation taxes, sales taxes, and property taxes.
Is a General Partnership in Washington subject to any federal taxes?
Yes, a general partnership in Washington is subject to federal taxes, such as income taxes.
Is a General Partnership in Washington required to keep records?
Yes, a general partnership in Washington must keep records of its financial transactions, as well as the ownership and management of the business.
Is a General Partnership in Washington required to have a separate bank account?
Generally, yes. A general partnership in Washington should have a separate bank account to ensure that the business finances are kept separate from the personal finances of the partners.
Is a General Partnership in Washington required to have a written partnership agreement?
Generally, yes. A general partnership in Washington should have a written partnership agreement that outlines the rights, duties, and responsibilities of the partners.
Can a General Partnership in Washington enter into contracts?
Yes, a general partnership in Washington can enter into contracts with individuals and businesses. The partners may also need to comply with any restrictions imposed by the partnership agreement.
Can a General Partnership in Washington sue or be sued?
Yes, a general partnership in Washington can sue or be sued in its own name. However, each partner is personally liable for any judgments or settlements that the business incurs.
Is a General Partnership in Washington required to have insurance?
Generally, no. A general partnership in Washington is not required to have insurance, but the partners may decide to do so to protect the business and their personal assets.
Is a General Partnership in Washington required to register as a foreign entity in other states?
Generally, no. A general partnership in Washington is not required to register as a foreign entity in other states. However, the partnership may need to register in other states if it transacts business in those states.
Are there any special rules for a General Partnership in Washington with foreign partners?
Yes, a general partnership in Washington with foreign partners may need to comply with additional laws and regulations regarding the admission of foreign partners. Additionally, the partnership may need to register with the IRS and obtain an EIN.
How do I form a General Partnership in Washington?
To form a General Partnership in Washington, you must create a partnership agreement and register with the Washington Secretary of State, filing a Certificate of Limited Partnership.
Are there any special taxes associated with a General Partnership in Washington?
No, General Partnerships in Washington are not subject to special taxes. Partners are responsible for paying personal income taxes on any profits they receive from the partnership.
How is a General Partnership in Washington managed?
In Washington, the management of a General Partnership is left up to the partners. Each partner is free to manage the business as they see fit, although it is advised that formal management structures are put in place to minimize conflict and ensure the success of the partnership.
What are the liabilities of a General Partnership in Washington?
In Washington, the partners of a General Partnership have joint and several liability for the obligations of the partnership. This means that each partner is equally responsible for any debts or obligations incurred by the partnership.
What are the benefits of forming a General Partnership in Washington?
General Partnerships in Washington offer a number of benefits, including ease of formation, minimal government involvement, flexibility in management, and access to capital from multiple sources.

Also Read

Why Create General Partnership Washington is So Important

Why Create General Partnership Washington is So Important

Creating a general partnership in Washington holds immense significance for entrepreneurs and businesses alike. This form of partnership grants individuals the opportunity to join forces and combine their skills, resources, and ideas to navigate the dynamic business landscape. The concept of a general partnership promotes synergy and facilitates mutually beneficial collaborations that can propel businesses to great heights of success. Such partnerships serve as catalysts for innovation, economic growth, and the overall progress of Washington’s business ecosystem.

One of the most evident advantages of creating a general partnership in Washington is the pooling of resources. In this structure, partners contribute their respective capital, expertise, and assets, which allows the partnership to operate with greater financial stability. Moreover, the equal sharing of risk and liability among partners fosters a sense of security, making it an appealing option for individuals hesitant about starting a business on their own. By spreading the financial burden, they can pursue entrepreneurial endeavors more confidently and collectively weather potential uncertainties.

In addition to financial strength, a general partnership also offers a unique platform for collaboration. Partners with diverse skill sets and backgrounds bring together a wealth of knowledge, expertise, and networks that can be combined to overcome complex challenges. When partners unite their intellectual capital and work towards a common goal, the likelihood of success multiplies exponentially. The dynamic exchange of ideas, insights, and perspectives creates an environment conducive to innovation, problem-solving, and the generation of unique business approaches.

Moreover, general partnerships empower individuals to pursue their entrepreneurial aspirations while benefitting from the support and guidance of their partners. Operating within such a structure encourages professional development through ongoing learning opportunities that partnerships often foster. Entrepreneurs can learn from their partners, explore new strategies, and enhance their skill sets, propelling their personal and professional growth forward.

Another key advantage of creating general partnerships in Washington is the flexibility they offer in terms of management and decision-making. Unlike other business structures that may entail complex governance systems, partnerships enable partners to have a direct say in the operations of the business. Partner participation in decision-making ensures consensus-based choices that reflect the collective interests and contributions of all involved, leading to smoother operations, increased trust, and a stronger sense of ownership.

Furthermore, the creation of general partnerships has far-reaching effects on Washington’s economy. The resulting entrepreneurship and business growth contribute to job creation, as successful partnerships often require additional human resources to support their expansion. These job opportunities help bolster the local economy and provide individuals with stable employment, positively impacting both individuals and communities. Additionally, increased business activities promote the circulation of capital, benefiting multiple sectors and fostering overall economic development in the state.

To sum up, creating general partnerships in Washington plays a vital role in the development and success of businesses. From collaborative innovation to enhanced financial stability and personal growth opportunities, the advantages are numerous. By embracing the general partnership structure, entrepreneurs and businesses in Washington can leverage these benefits to create thriving enterprises, drive economic growth, and contribute to the state’s vibrant and prosperous business ecosystem.

Conclusion

In conclusion, starting a general partnership in Washington may effectively combine resources, expertise, and creativity to achieve your mutual business goals. By understanding the legal requirements, drafting a thorough partnership agreement, and registering your partnership, you’ll be well on your way to a successful collaboration. As you embark on this exciting journey, remember to maintain open communication and stay committed to the shared vision that inspired your partnership in the first place.


About Author & Editorial Staff

Steve Goldstein, founder of LLCBuddy, is a specialist in corporate formations, dedicated to guiding entrepreneurs and small business owners through the LLC process. LLCBuddy provides a wealth of streamlined resources such as guides, articles, and FAQs, making LLC establishment seamless. The diligent editorial staff makes sure content is accurate, up-to-date information on topics like state-specific requirements, registered agents, and compliance. Steve's enthusiasm for entrepreneurship makes LLCBuddy an essential and trustworthy resource for launching and running an LLC.

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