Written by True Tamplin, BSc, CEPF®

Reviewed by Subject Matter Experts

Updated on April 17, 2023


A partnership is a relationship between persons who have agreed to share the profits of a business carried on by all or any of them acting for all.


The following are the main characteristics of partnerships:

  • There must be two or more persons to form a partnership
  • There must be a written or verbal agreement between all the concerned persons
  • The agreement must have the aim of conducting business
  • The business may be carried on by all or any of the partners acting for all
  • The gain or loss must be shared by all


The persons who form a partnership are individually called "partners." The collective name given to them is a "firm."

The maximum number of partners is limited to 10 in banking businesses and 20 in trading concerns.

Sharing the gain is an important element of a partnership. However, it is not conclusive proof of being a partner.

There are examples of entities that share in a firm's gain without being considered partners. For example:

  • Employees paid on the basis of profit
  • Lenders who receive a rate of interest that varies with the amount of profit

Partnerships are based on an agreement that may be written or oral. Even oral agreements may not be necessary; partnerships can be implied from the acts of the persons engaged in the enterprise.

It is, however, always better to make a partnership agreement in writing.

Partnership FAQs

About the Author

True Tamplin, BSc, CEPF®

True Tamplin is a published author, public speaker, CEO of UpDigital, and founder of Finance Strategists.

True is a Certified Educator in Personal Finance (CEPF®), author of The Handy Financial Ratios Guide, a member of the Society for Advancing Business Editing and Writing, contributes to his financial education site, Finance Strategists, and has spoken to various financial communities such as the CFA Institute, as well as university students like his Alma mater, Biola University, where he received a bachelor of science in business and data analytics.

To learn more about True, visit his personal website or view his author profiles on Amazon, Nasdaq and Forbes.