What is a partnership?

In addition to the BV and the NV, there is also the partnership. This is a business form that focuses on the collaboration of specialists in a specific field. The specialists share labor, money and/or goods and then share in profits (but also losses). What exactly is a partnership, what are dimensions, and how is a partnership formed?

The partnership and the sizes

When a group of specialists join forces, sharing and exchanging costs and knowledge, this is the organization of a partnership. The members of the partnership are referred to as partners. The partners consist of specialists within a specific field who have joined through a balloting committee, which is an application committee. When two people work together, we can already speak of a partnership. Partnerships are often seen in professions such as doctors and lawyers. The partnership is a legal form, just as a general partnership is a legal form. General partnerships are usually more common among craftsmen, such as in furniture making, while partnerships often concern those who practice a liberal profession. The distinction between a partnership and a VOF also lies in the distinction between profession and business. When specialists work together within a partnership, they are practicing a liberal profession. This could, for example, be a doctor’s practice. A contract is drawn up and signed within this group for the benefit of the collaboration. Although in principle one is reasonably free, each partner is equally liable for the debts of the partnership. Within the partnership there are certain contact moments, such as during the partnership meeting, where the specialists come together to discuss the current state of affairs and what actions need to be taken. Profits achieved are shared by the partners, but on the other hand the losses are also shared. This is because this legal form does not have legal personality (such as BV and NV). Debt is therefore borne by all sizes.

Silent partnership versus public partnership

In silent partnerships, the partners only work in the background, so only one staff member is shared, or the partners work together in a building. In public partnerships, the partners often share a name, so they work under a joint professional name. The silent partnership does not have to register with the Chamber of Commerce. This does apply (since July 1, 2008) to public partnerships.

Characteristics of a partnership

A partnership consists of a certain framework , with partners who practice the same profession. A number of important matters are therefore recorded within this framework, so that there is clarity. Because the partners within the partnership are strongly connected and communicate closely, there is little hierarchy. In principle, each partner makes their own decisions and chooses their own assignments, when you want to work and the minimum wage. Each partner contributes something to the partnership, in the form of labor, money or goods , and in return receives a share in the joint profit that the partnership makes. An example of sharing something within a partnership is sharing a practice (for example a doctor’s practice), but sharing a secretary can also be part of a partnership. Every partnership has a cooperation contract , which sets out important rules. What exactly is recorded depends on what the partners consider important.

Some partnerships

  • Law firm
  • Doctors’ association
  • Dental Society
  • Physiotherapist society
  • Accounting partnership

Example of partnership:

Mr. Bram Moszkowicz was also part of a partnership for a while. This concerned a family partnership, or a family business, under the name Moszkowitcz (in Amsterdam).

Forming a partnership

  • Verbal agreement: It is possible to form a partnership verbally, by deciding to share something together, but a contract is often drawn up to avoid conflicts.
  • Concluding a partnership contract: A contract is often concluded with a notary to record important rights and obligations and to decide what to do if, for example, debts arise.
  • Indication of name: When the partnership goes public, a decision will be made on a name for the partnership.
  • Profit distribution: The distribution of the profit is based on the relationship within the partnership. So someone with more input will receive more profit in that case, unless stated otherwise in the contract.

Important in a partnership contract:

  • Agreements about input of sizes
  • Agreements about profit distribution
  • Agreements about the division of powers
  • Agreements regarding termination of partnership

The Chamber of Commerce offers a standard contract for starting a partnership.