BC to get limited liability partnership

Wednesday, April 28th, 2004

Personal assets of the partners will not be put at risk


B.C. professionals and other entrepreneurs can form new business partnerships without having their personal assets put at risk under legislation introduced Tuesday by the provincial government.

The proposed amendments to the Partnership Act would allow for the creation of a new type of business entity in B.C. called a “limited liability partnership,” or LLP, Finance Minister Gary Collins said.

“Unlike other provinces, where only professionals such as lawyers and accountants may register as LLPs, there will be no restrictions on what types of businesses are able to register an LLP under the new Partnership Act,” Collins said.

Currently, the active members of a partnership — such as law firms, accounting firms, or engineering firms — are personally responsible for the liabilities of all the other partners and of the partnership itself, the minister explained.

An LLP is an arrangement in which each partner is responsible only for his or her own liabilities, similar to protection afforded an incorporated limited liability company (Ltd.), in which a company’s liabilities are restricted to the assets of that firm.

Collins said the new legislation is designed to make partners more fully accountable to their clients or customers, and ensures that all partners can engage in their business without fearing their personal assets could be put at risk, unless negligence or wrongdoing is involved.

“These amendments will contribute to making B.C. a more attractive place for investors to establish new partnerships that they might not have otherwise, which in turn, will stimulate new investments and help create jobs across the province,” Collins said.

To obtain and maintain LLP status, a partnership must register with the B.C. corporate registry, notify clients of their change in status, include the letters “LLP” in their business name, make an up-to-date list of partners available to the public at all times, and remain in compliance with all relevant laws and requirements, he said.

© The Vancouver Sun 2004

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