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Checklist: Starting a Partnership

If you are thinking of starting a partnership, below is a checklist of steps to take before you open for business. Keep in mind that your partnership's start-up requirements might vary from the list below, depending on the specific type of business you are in, and where your business is located.

  1. Decide on a business name for your partnership.(Learn more: Pick a Winning Name for Your Business)

  2. Search availability of your partnership's chosen business name, and for similarity to existing names. (Learn more: Make Sure Your Proposed Business Name is Available)

  3. Register your partnership name (including as a "fictitious business name").(Learn more: Registering Your Business Name)  

  4. Create and sign a written partnership agreement.(Learn more: Creating a Partnership Agreement)

  5. Register your partnership by filing a "certificate" or "registration" of partnership with the Secretary of State office. This step is required most often for limited liability partnerships (LLPs) and limited partnerships, as opposed to general partnerships.(Learn more about Types of Partnerships)

  6. Obtain business licenses and permits for your partnership from:

Forming a partnership can be a long-term benefit to your new business in the long run, but the process -- most notably drafting a comprehensive partnership agreement -- can be complicated. To ensure that your new partnership covers all legal bases and has the best chance for success before opening for business, you may wish to consult an experienced business attorney. Click here to learn more.

Next Steps
Contact a qualified business organizations attorney to help you
choose the best formation for your business.
(e.g., Chicago, IL or 60611)

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