Limited Liability Partnership
A Limited Liability Partnership (‘LLP’) is a business organisation comprising two or more persons associated for carrying on a lawful business with a view to profit that is registered as such under the Limited Liability Partnership Act 2005 (Act 5 of 2005). Despite its name, it is not regarded as a partnership and general partnership law does not apply to LLPs.
The LLP is a body corporate that has a separate legal personality. It can sue, be sued and own property in its own name. The LLP is liable for its own debts and the partners and managers of the LLP cannot be made liable for such debts. Each of the partners are assessed and taxed individually on their respective share of the profits in the LLP.
Every partner of the LLP is regarded as an agent of the LLP. However, the LLP is not bound by the acts of a partner which are not authorised where either this fact is known to the person dealing with the partner or the person does not know or believe the partner to be a partner in the LLP.
A Limited Liability Partnership (“LLP”) allows the partners to retain the flexibility of a partnership agreement but it is not regulated by an identical set of legal principles governing partnerships. In addition, when compared to a partnership, a LLP is required to upkeep its financial records as well as report its financial status of solvency or insolvency annually. Also, as the partners enjoy limited liability, it cannot be terminated as easily as a general partnership. The law provides a comprehensive set of rules to govern winding up of LLPs to ensure protection to the creditors. However as the LLP is a novel concept, we think financial institutions and potential business partners may be more reserved when dealing with it, as compared to a company or general partnership. The law also places restrictions on certain categories of persons (see sections 33 to 37 of the Limited Liability Partnerships Act) who can manage a LLP.
An LLP is another form of doing business in Singapore. This means that instead of registering a business or a company in Singapore, interested parties may choose to register an LLP to carry out their business activities. The LLP will give the owners the flexibility of operating as a partnership whilst giving them limited liability. It combines the benefits of a partnership with those of private limited companies. However this comes with safeguards in law to minimize abuse and provide protection to parties who deal with the LLP. The LLP is a body corporate and has legal personality separate from its partners. The LLP has perpetual succession. Any change in the partners of a LLP does not affect its existence, rights or liabilities.
An LLP is capable of:
- Suing and being sued in its name
- Acquiring and holding property in its name;
- Having a common seal and
- Doing such other acts and things in its name, as bodies corporate may lawfully do and suffer.