As a professional, I have come across various articles that discuss the importance of having a partnership agreement in place. However, in some cases, partners may overlook the need to create a formal agreement before entering into a business partnership.

So, what happens if there is no partnership agreement in place? In this article, we explore the factors that govern a partnership in the absence of a formal agreement.

What is a Partnership Agreement?

A partnership agreement is a binding legal document that outlines the terms and conditions of the partnership. It defines the roles, responsibilities, and liabilities of each partner, as well as the profit distribution, decision-making process, and dispute resolution procedures.

A partnership agreement protects each partner`s interests and ensures that the partnership runs smoothly, even when disagreements arise. It is a crucial document that should be drafted early in the partnership process.

Factors that Govern a Partnership if There is No Partnership Agreement in Place

In the absence of a partnership agreement, the partnership is governed by state law. Every state has its own set of laws that dictates the rules and regulations for partnerships.

These state laws provide the default rules for partnerships, which include:

1. Equal Profit Sharing: If there is no agreement on how profits are divided, the default rule is that profits are shared equally among the partners. This may not be ideal for partnerships where partners contribute different amounts of time, effort, and capital.

2. Equal Management and Control: In the absence of an agreement, each partner has equal decision-making power. This can result in disagreements and impede the partnership`s growth.

3. Unlimited Liability: Partnerships are typically general partnerships, which means that all partners have unlimited liability for the partnership`s debts and obligations. This means that if the partnership cannot pay its debts, the partners` personal assets can be used to pay off the debts.

4. No Partnership Dissolution Plan: In the absence of an agreement, there is no plan for how the partnership will be dissolved if one partner wishes to leave or if the partnership dissolves for other reasons. This can result in legal disputes and financial losses for all partners.


In conclusion, partnerships without agreements are risky. While state laws offer some default rules, they may not be suitable for every partnership. It is essential that partners create a formal partnership agreement early in the partnership process to avoid disputes, protect their interests, and ensure the partnership`s success.

As a professional, I recommend partners to seek legal advice when creating a partnership agreement to ensure that the agreement complies with state laws and protects their interests.