Under federal bankruptcy law—state partnership law is preempted—a partnership is an entity that may voluntarily seek the haven of a bankruptcy court or that may involuntarily be thrust into a bankruptcy proceeding by its creditors. The partnership cannot discharge its debts in a liquidation proceeding under Chapter 7 of the bankruptcy law, but it can be rehabilitated under Chapter 11 (see Bankruptcy ).
Partnership law is very important because it is the way most small businesses are organized and because it is possible for a person to become a partner without intending to. Partnership law goes back a long way, but in the United States, most states—but not all—have adopted the Revised Uniform Partnership Act (RUPA, 1997) over the previous Uniform Partnership Act, originally promulgated in 1914. One salient change made by RUPA is to directly announce that a partnership is an entity: it is like a person for purposes of accounting, litigation, bankruptcy, and owning real estate. Partnerships do not pay taxes; the individual partners do. But in practical terms, what RUPA does is codify already-existing state law on these matters, and partners are free to organize their relationship as they like in the partnership agreement.
- When was UPA set out for states to adopt? When was RUPA promulgated for state adoption?
- What does it mean to say that the partnership act is the “default position”? For what types of partnership is UPA (or RUPA) likely to be of most importance?
- What is the aggregate theory of partnership? The entity theory?