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California General Partnership San Diego

California General Partnership San Diego Summary

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• Filing a Certificate of Partnership with the Secretary of State is optional;

• No governance or other “corporate” formalities;

• Allows more than one business owner without franchise taxation.

Formation of a California general partnership by San Diego Corporate Law includes an attorney-drafted partnership agreement, drafting and filing of a Certificate of Partnership with the California Secretary of State, and federal EIN application.

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California General Partnership San Diego Details


When two or more persons associate to conduct business as co-owners, a general partnership is formed. Although a general partnership may be formed by filing with the Secretary of State, such a filing is not required, and a general partnership may be formed solely by the actions of the co-owners, regardless of the intent of the co-owners. While an oral agreement to conduct business is sufficient to form a general partnership, use of a written partnership agreement is strongly suggested. In a general partnership, each partner is personally responsible for all debts, liabilities, and other obligations of the partnership.


Two or more individuals, corporations, business trusts, estates, trusts, partnerships, limited partnerships, LLCs, associations, or joint ventures may form a general partnership. California Corporations Code § 16101(9), (13).


When two or more individuals or authorized entities carry on business as co-owners, a general partnership is formed. California Corporations Code §§ 16101(9), 16202(a). No government filings are required; however, a general partnership may file a statement of partnership with the Secretary of State. California Corporations Code §§ 16113(a). The fee for filing a statement of partnership is $70.00. California Government Code §§ 12187(a). A partnership agreement may be recorded in the county where the partnership is located. California Corporations Code § 16303(b).

Personal Liability

General partners are personally liable for all debts and obligations of the general partnership that were incurred after becoming a general partner. California Corporations Code § 16306(a)-(b). A judgment against a general partnership is not satisfied from a general partner’s separate assets unless there is also a separate judgment against the partner individually. California Corporations Code § 16306(c)-(d). Partners have fiduciary duties of loyalty and care to all other partners. California Corporations Code § 16404.


The names of general partners are not public record unless a statement of partnership authority is filed, a fictitious business name statement application is filed, or the partnership agreement is recorded.


General partnerships are managed by the partners, although a partnership may have employees. Under the theory of mutual agency, each partner is an agent of the partnership and can bind the partnership in the ordinary course of business. California Corporations Code §16301(1).


Working capital for a general partnership usually comes from cash and property contributions made by partners, secured loans, or unsecured loans from partners. General partnerships are not attractive investments for third party investors due to the personal liability issues for debts and obligations of the partnership, as well as the ease of transferring partnership interests. Unless the partnership agreement provides otherwise, partners receive equal shares of profits and are liable for equal shares of any losses. California Corporations Code § 16401(b).

Securities Issues

No securities issues exist.


A general partnership’s net income and losses are reported on the partnership’s tax return. However, the income or loss allocated to each partner is paid on each partner’s individual income tax return. Employment taxes and workers’ compensation insurance must be paid on employees’ wages.

Ownership Changes

Partners must vote unanimously to the admission of new partners. California Corporations Code § 16401(i). Unless otherwise provided in the partnership agreement, a partner may freely assign his or her economic interest in the general partnership without dissolving or dissociating the assignor from the partnership. California Corporations Code §16503. However, the assignee is entitled only to the economic interest in the partnership and does not become a partner.


An “at will” partnership, without a specific term or undertaking, is dissolved on a dissociation only after at least half the partners vote for dissolution. California Corporations Code § 16801(1). A general partnership formed for a specific term or undertaking is dissolved and wound up on dissociation of a partner unless within ninety days of the dissociation unless a majority interest of the partners agree to continue the partnership. California Corporations Code § 16801(2). The partnership agreement may vary these provisions.

Pricing Assumptions

The organization of a California General Partnership for $1,820.00 assumes a Certificate of General Partnership is filed, a single class of partnership is created in the first draft of the partnership agreement, and all proposed partners accept the first draft of the partnership agreement. Price will decrease without the filing of a Certificate of General Partnership. Negotiated amendments to the partnership agreement available for additional fees. Pricing does not include recording the partnership agreement with the county, which is available for additional fees and costs.

Do you still have general partnership questions?


Schedule a Consultation: 858.483.9200

Schedule a Consultation: 858.483.9200

Schedule a Consultation: 858.483.9200

Schedule a Consultation: 858.483.9200