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Partnerships in Arizona

Arizona Business Partnerships

Law Offices of Donald W. Hudspeth P.C. are prepared to help with all business-related matters, no matter what form your business takes. We will help you decide whether a partnership is the right legal structure for your business and, if so, which type of partnership. And we can assist you with any other partnership issues, from disputes between partners to tax matters to partnership dissolution.

Arizona recognizes three chief forms of partnership: general, limited, and limited liability.

Arizona general partnership

A general partnership forms whenever you associate with at least one other person to run a for-profit business. Regardless of whether you intend to form a partnership or file documents with the Arizona Corporation Commission to that effect, co-owning a for-profit business with one or more other co-owners creates a general partnership. Under a general partnership:

  • You may—and probably should—have a written general partnership agreement specifying the rights and responsibilities of each partner, but you do not need one.
  • The partnership is a distinct legal entity, and may own property and incur debt in its name. Property owned by the partnership belongs to the partnership, not to the partners individually.
  • Arizona law does not restrict the number or type of partners. A corporation or other business entity may be a partner.
  • The partnership is liable for the acts of each partner in the ordinary course of business, and each partner is jointly and severally liable for all obligations of the partnership.

Generally general partnerships are not a good idea because you may be completely liable for the acts of your partner even if you had an agreement with your partner that he/she/it would not do the act in question. So, except for joint ventures between entities partnerships are not as commonly used.

Arizona limited partnership

To form a limited partnership, you must file a Certificate of Limited Partnership with the Arizona Secretary of State, specifying:

  • The name of the limited partnership
  • The office address of the partnership
  • The name and address of the agent for service of process
  • The name and the business address of each general partner
  • The latest date, if any, on which the limited partnership must dissolve
  • Any other matters the general partners determine to include

You must also check that the name of your limited partnership is unique from other Arizona business entities or trademarks before filing. Under an Arizona limited partnership:

  • You do not need any written agreements other than the Certificate of Limited Partnership to form a limited partnership, but Arizona business partnership lawyers strongly recommend that you create a general partnership agreement, specifying the rights and responsibilities of each partner.
  • Arizona law does not limit the number of partners or what sort of entity can become a partner, but does require that limited partnerships have at least one general partner and at least one limited partner. Limited partners generally contribute seed money as an investment, but have little—if any—control over day-to-day operations and business management.
  • General partners are liable for the obligations of the partnership. Limited partners are not, unless they have taken over management or operational responsibilities.

Arizona limited liability partnerships

Relatively new to Arizona, limited liability partnerships are intended to combine some of the liability protection of a true corporate structure with the intimacy and administrative ease of a partnership. Under a limited liability partnership:

  • You must file a Statement of Qualification specifying: the name of the limited liability partnership, the address of the partnership office, the name and address of the partnership agent for service of process, and that you are applying for status as a limited liability partnership.
  • The limited liability partnership is a separate entity for most legal purposes—it can own property and incur debt—but not for tax purposes. Such a partnership does not pay taxes on profits and losses on its own, but instead distributes profits and losses among all the partners.
  • Partners are not liable for the obligations of the partnership, except to the extent that they have already invested in the partnership.

Arizona business partnership attorneys

Located in midtown Phoenix, Arizona, Law Offices of Donald W. Hudspeth P.C. are easily accessible by light rail or car. Our business lawyers in Phoenix have helped thousands of businesses over the years, working with business owners throughout Arizona on their legal needs. Our practice extends to other states such as California, New York (City), Michigan, Florida, Oregon and Washington. In addition, we are in at least 15 countries, including Canada, Israel, Iceland, Sweden, China, Australia, Korea, Mexico, Ukraine and Uganda for corporations and LLCs. Contact us for additional information regarding how we can help you with your legal business matters.

At Law Offices of Donald W. Hudspeth P.C., we do more than connect the dots—we create the dots.

What others are saying about us
  • "I would recommend Mr. Hudspeth unequivocally. Not only is he an outstanding business attorney, he also provided me with access to a divorce attorney. Thanks to his skill, and resources available outside the Phoenix law family, I was successful in challenging a “family law” mediation that was particularly and grossly unfair." - Chandler, Arizona Private Individual

  • "Thank you for the work you have done in creating these documents. It is always a pleasure dealing with this firm!" - J. P.

  • "An excellent response. Masterfully prepared. Thank you." - El Paso, Texas Real Estate Investor

  • "Glad about meeting with Don. Felt so much better, better than in 15 years. Really appreciated the conversation." - RH, Phoenix Manufacturing Company

Donald W. Hudspeth Attorney Photo
Donald W. Hudspeth
Principal Attorney

Attorney Donald W. Hudspeth has more than twenty years’ experience practicing corporate and business law. Before attending law school, Mr. Hudspeth held a stock brokers license at the age of 21 and owned his own business at the age of 23. He was a business law professor at Arizona State University, West Campus, and has conducted classes and seminars for a number of higher institutions and organizations. Mr. Hudspeth has published two books on law and is the founder of the radio programs Law on the Edge and Law Talk.

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Brian K. Stanley
Of Counsel

Attorney Brian K. Stanley has more than thirty years' experience practicing corporate and business law. Brian also worked for Sandra Day O'Connor in 1976-1977; Formerly with the Phoenix firm of Jones, Hunter & Lerch as of the dissolution of that firm in 1979. (Also Member, Law Office of Brian K. Stanley, PLLC).

Janae A. Perry-Meier Attorney Photo
Janae A. Perry-Meier

Janae Perry-Meier is a business and commercial law attorney focusing on international business. Janae handles both transactional and litigation matters, including: forming your business, drafting your contracts, franchising, business disputes, business divorce, mergers and acquisitions, private placements, securities compliance, and corporate governance. Janae also handles trademark registration, office action responses, and infringement cases.

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Michael David Malin

Michael Malin has been a practicing attorney in Arizona since 2013. He has represented clients through all stages of litigation. Prior to joining the firm, Michael litigated cases involving professional negligence, insurance bad faith, dram shop liability, personal injury and wrongful death, Indian law, probate, and criminal matters. Before attending law school, he worked for several startup companies in the then-nascent field of smartphone and tablet application development. test

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Robert J. McGee
Associate Attorney

Robert J. McGee is an Arizona native who has been practicing law since 2014. Robert’s primary experience is with all aspects of intellectual property – trademarks, copyrights, trade secrets, and patents. Robert has substantial additional experience with cyberlaw. He is an avid collector of esoteric knowledge and always takes an interest in the details of how each client’s business works.

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Our firm now offers a scholarship program for ASU first and second year law students.

The scholarship is awarded to students for academic merit with an interest in business and business law. Candidates may have majored in fields other than business, have taken a break between college and law school, or have had exceptional life experiences.

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