Unit 17. PartnershipТоварищество

Хозяйственными товариществами и обществами (глава 4 ГК РФ) признаются коммерческие организации с разделенным на доли (вклады) учредителей (участников) уставным (складочным) капиталом.

Имущество, созданное за счет вкладов учредителей (участников), а также произведенное и приобретенное хозяйственным товариществом или обществом в процессе его деятельности, принадлежит ему на праве собственности. Прибыль и убытки полного товарищества распределяются между его участниками пропорционально их долям в складочном капитале, если иное не предусмотрено учредительным договором или иным соглашением участников.

List of key terms and word combinations:

– annuity – аннуитет; ежегодная выплата, установленная договором, завещанием или другим актом

– articles of partnership – договор об учреждении товарищества

– assigned – правопреемник, цессионарий

– assign – передавать; переуступать; цедировать; отчуждать

– capital contributions – взнос в уставный капитал; возмещение доли ответственности

– fiduciary – доверенное лицо, фидуциарий || основанный на доверии, фидуциарный

– general partner – член полного товарищества

– goodwill – стоимость «фирмы» (репутация и деловые связи фирмы, нематериальные элементы фирмы, включающие наименование фирмы, товарные знаки, клиентуру)

– limited liability – ограниченная ответственность

– limited partners – компаньон-вкладчик, компаньон с ограниченной ответственностью

– limited partnership – коммандитное товарищество, товарищество на вере

– partnership at will – бессрочное товарищество

– partnership by estoppel – товарищество в силу неопровержимой правовой презумпции (когда товарищ лишен права отрицать наличие представительства в силу характера своих действий)

– prima facie evidence – доказательство, достаточное при отсутствии опровержения; первичное доказательство; презумпция доказательства

– surplus – активное сальдо (торгового или платежного баланса); активный торговый или платежный баланс

– tenancy in partnership – овладение (преимущественно недвижимостью)

There are the two essential elements of a partnership.

First, partnerships must involve at least two persons.
(Note that the term person include corporations and other legally created organizations.) Second, a partnership must involve a sharing of profits and sharing losses equally by the partners. This point is so crucial that the sharing of profits and losses is considered prima facie (sufficient) evidence of the existence of a partnership. Prima facie evidence in this context means that the law presumes, in the absence of evidence to the contrary, that an individual receiving profits and sharing losses is a partner.

Unlimited liability (the most unattractive feature of a partnership) places the partner's own property at risk, which means that the partner's nonpartnership property can be used to satisfy debts owed by the partnership. In general, a partner's individual nonpartnership property cannot be tapped until the partnership runs out of assets. It is also possible to stipulate in a given contract that nonpartnership property will never be used to satisfy a debt arising out of that agreement. Finally, partners can take out insurance to protect themselves against the loss of individual property due to partnership indebtedness.

A partnership can be formed by contract, by proof of existence, or by estoppel.

The written agreement that establishes a partnership is called the partnership agreement, or articles of partnership. In addition to the date of formation, the identity of the parties, and the purpose of the partnership, the agreement generally includes the name and duration of the partnership, amount of capital (net assets) each partner contributed to the partnership, amount of reserve funds (retained earnings) from profits to be accumulated, location and withdrawal procedure for all partnership funds, duties of partners, location and accessibility of a full and accurate account of partnership transactions, the times and amounts each partner is entitled to withdraw from partnership earnings, provision for the preparation of an annual balance sheet and income statement and the distribution of net profits or net losses between partners, limitations on partners, and termination notice procedure.

Sometimes a partnership will be created simply on the basis of the way in which people do business with one another.

If one party claims that a partnership exists and the other party denies its existence, the court will look at the sharing of profits. However, a person may receive a share of the profits and avoid the label «partner» if the share is paid as repayment of a debt, as wages to an employee or rent to a landlord, as an annuity (i.e., a guaranteed retirement income), as interest on a loan, or as consideration for the sale of goodwill (i.e., the expected continuance of public patronage).

When an individual says or does something that leads a third party to the reasonable belief that a partnership exists, partnership by estoppel occurs. Partnership by estoppel does not create a true partnership.

The capital contributions of all partners are considered to be the property of the partnership. Capital contributions are sums that are contributed by the partners as permanent investments and that the partners are entitled to have returned when the partnership is dissolved. In contrast, loans or later advances that partners make to the partnership and accumulated but undivided profits belong to the partners on an individual basis.

Each partner has a property interest in specific terms of partnership property, making him or her a co-owner of that property. This form of ownership is known as tenancy in partnership. A tenancy in partnership has the following characteristics: A partner has an equal right with partners to possess and use specific partnership property for partnership purposes, but not for that partner's personal use; a partner's interest in partnership property may not be assigned (i.e., transferred by sale, mortgage, pledge, or otherwise) to a nonpartner, unless the other partners agree to the transfer; partners' rights in partnership property are not subject to attachment (i.e., taking a person's property and bringing it into the custody of the law) for personal debts or claims against the partners themselves; a deceased partner's interest in real property held by the partnership passes to the surviving partners; and partners' rights in specific partnership property are not subject to any allowances or rights to widows, heirs, or next of kin.

A partner's interest in the partnership is his or her share of profits and surplus. Surplus includes any funds that remain after a partnership has been dissolved and all other debts and prior obligations have been settled.

Partners share profits and surplus equally, unless the articles of partnership specify otherwise.

All partners have equal rights in the management of partnership business. Participating is not limited by the proportional value of the partner's contribution. Any differences arising as to ordinary matters connected with the business may be decided by a majority vote of the partners.

A fiduciary is a person who has a duty to act for the benefit of another. Because of their joint undertaking, partners are fiduciaries to one another. As a fiduciary, each partner has a duty to act in the highest good faith, fairness, and trust when conducting partnership business.

Partners are jointly liable on all contractual obligations of the partnership. This means that in a suit brought jointly against all partners, each partner is a defendant. A judgment must be against all or none of the partners, and a release of one partner releases all of them.

A partnership comes to an end by way of a two-part process: dissolution and winding up. Dissolution of a partnership as a change in the relation of the partners caused by any partner ceasing to be associated in the carrying on of the business. Dissolution is to be distinguished from the winding up and termination of the partnerships, which effectively puts it out of business. Winding up involves completing all ongoing business and selling the partnership property to obtain cash to satisfy all debts owed by the firm. If anything is left, it is distributed to the partners according to the partnership agreement or the rules set down by regulations.

In general, partnerships dissolve by the acts of the partners, by operation of law, and by court decree.

Limited partnerships are defined as a partnership formed by two or more persons… having one or more general partners and one or more limited partners. General partners take an active part in the management of the firm and have unlimited liability for the firm's debts.

Limited partners are nonparticipating investors. They contribute cash, property, or services to the partnership but do not take part in the management of the firm.

The general partner can accumulate additional capital without admitting another general partner who would be entitled to management rights. Thus, the general partner maintains control while strengthening the firm's treasury. Limited partnership means limited liability, which in its turn means that the limited partner's nonpartnership property cannot be used to satisfy any debts owed by the partnership. Thus, limited partners receive a return on their investment while risking only that original investment.

Exercise 1. Comprehension questions:

1. Explain the term partnership.

2. Identify the essential elements of a partnership.

3. How are the profits and losses shared between the parties?

4. Explain why unlimited liability is perhaps the most unattractive feature f a partnership.

5. What may protect the partners against loss of non-partnership property?

6. How can be partnership formed?

7. What are the requirements for partnership agreements?

8. Explain the term capital contribution.

9. What are the ways of partnership's dissolution?

Exercise 2. Find in the text English equivalents to the following:

Ежегодная выплата; цессионарий; переуступать; доверенное лицо; стоимость «фирмы»; компаньон-вкладчик, компаньон с ограниченной ответственностью; товарищество на вере; бессрочное товарищество; активное сальдо; овладение.

Exercise 3. Consult recommended dictionaries and give words or phrases to the following definitions:

Полное товарищество; товарищество на вере; учредительный договор; преобразование хозяйственных товариществ; складочный капитал; ответственность участников; внесение вкладов; ведение дел товарищества; изменение состава участников; передача доли участника.

Exercise 4. Be ready to talk on one of the following topics:

Describe the evidence used by the courts to determine whether a partnership exists.


Distinguish between property belonging to the partnership and property belonging to the individual partners.

2. Outline the various rights, duties, and liabilities of partners.

3. Determine the ranking of partnership liabilities in settling accounts after the dissolution of a partnership.

4. Compare the advantages of a limited partner in a limited partnership to those of a general partner.

Exercise 5. Make up your own dialog on the case: A partnership, Hartigan and Dwyer, operates a department store in Troy, New York, while a partnership, Hartigan, Dwyer, and O'Brien, operates a department store in Albany, New York. An insurance company issued a policy in the name of «Hartigan and Dwyer, department store merchant, Troy, New York» insuring against liabilities arising from the operation of a delivery truck. The truck, while being used for deliveries from Albany store operated by Hartigan, Dwyer, and O'Brien, strikes and kills a child. If Hartigan and Dwyer are called upon individually to pay a tort judgment, are they protected by the policy?

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Источник: Е.Г. Анисимова, С. В. Коростелёв. Английский язык для юристов. Предпринимательское право. 2011

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