Partnership vs LLC and which one to pick?

Jul 14, 2023


When starting a business, one of the most important decisions you'll need to make is choosing the right legal structure. Two common options for small businesses are partnerships and limited liability companies (LLCs). Both have their advantages and disadvantages, so it's crucial to understand the differences between them before making a decision.


A partnership is a business structure where two or more individuals share ownership and responsibility. It's a relatively simple and flexible option, making it popular for small businesses and professional practices.

Advantages of partnerships include:

  • Shared decision-making and workload
  • Pooling of resources and capital
  • Tax advantages, as profits and losses are passed through to the partners' personal tax returns

However, partnerships also have some drawbacks:

  • Unlimited personal liability, meaning partners are personally responsible for the business's debts and obligations
  • Potential for conflicts and disagreements between partners

partnership business


An LLC is a legal entity that combines the limited liability protection of a corporation with the pass-through taxation of a partnership. It provides a more formal structure and greater protection for the business owners.

Advantages of forming an LLC include:

  • Limited personal liability, meaning the owners' personal assets are generally protected from business debts
  • Flexibility in management and ownership structure
  • Ability to retain earnings within the business or distribute them to owners

However, there are also some considerations to keep in mind:

  • More administrative requirements and potential costs compared to partnerships
  • Complexity in some states, with specific regulations and filing requirements

LLC formation

Which one to pick?

The decision between a partnership and an LLC ultimately depends on your specific business needs and goals. Here are a few factors to consider:

Liability Protection

If you want to protect your personal assets from business liabilities, forming an LLC is generally the better choice. This structure limits your liability to the amount you've invested in the business, shielding your personal assets from potential risks.

Tax Considerations

Partnerships offer pass-through taxation, meaning the business itself does not pay taxes. Instead, profits and losses flow through to the partners' personal tax returns. This can be advantageous for some businesses, especially if you expect to have significant losses in the early stages. However, LLCs also offer flexibility in tax treatment, allowing you to choose how you want to be taxed.

Business Flexibility

If you anticipate changes in ownership or management structure, an LLC provides more flexibility. It allows for various ownership interests and the possibility of bringing in new members or investors. Partnerships, on the other hand, may face more challenges when it comes to changing the structure.

flexible business


Choosing between a partnership and an LLC is a decision that should be based on your specific business needs and goals. Consider factors such as liability protection, tax considerations, and business flexibility. Consulting with a legal professional or business advisor can also provide valuable guidance in making the right choice for your business.