Profits and losses may be shared according to any formula on which the partners agree. For example, the partnership agreement may provide that two senior partners are entitled to 35 percent each of the profit from the year and the two junior partners are entitled to 15 percent each. The next year the percentages will be adjusted based on such things as number of new clients garnered, number of billable hours, or amount of income generated. Eventually, the senior partners might retire and each be entitled to 2 percent of the firm’s income, and the previous junior partners become senior, with new junior partners admitted.
If no provision is stated, then under RUPA Section 401(b), “each partner is entitled to an equal share of the partnership profits and is chargeable with a share of the partnership losses in proportion to the partner’s share of the profits.” Section 18(a) of the Uniform Partnership Act is to the same effect. The right to share in the profits is the reason people want to “make partner”: a partner will reap the benefits of other partners’ successes (and pay for their failures too). A person working for the firm who is not a partner is an associate and usually only gets only a salary.
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