A partnership is an arrangement where parties, known as partners, agree to cooperate to advance their mutual interests. The partners in a partnership may be individuals, businesses, interest-based organizations, schools, governments or combinations organizations may partner together to increase the likelihood of each achieving their mission and to amplify their reach. A partnership may result in issuing and holding equity or may be only governed by a contract. Partnership agreements can be formed in the following areas:
Business: two or more companies join forces in a joint venture or a consortium to i) work on a project (e.g. industrial or research project) which would be too heavy or too risky for a single entity, ii) join forces to have a stronger position on the market, iii) comply with specific regulation (e.g. in some emerging countries, foreigners can only invest in the form of partnerships with local entrepreneurs). In this case, the alliance may be structured in a process comparable to a Mergers & Acquisitions transaction.
In the sport of cricket, two batsmen always bat in partnership, although only one is on strike at any time. The partnership between two batsmen will come to an end when one of them is dismissed or retires, or the innings comes to a close (usually due to victory being achieved, a declaration, a time or over limit being reached, or the match being abandoned in mid-innings for inclement weather or, exceptionally, dangerous playing conditions). Various statistics may be used to describe a partnership, most notably the number of runs scored during it (either by the batsmen or as extras), the duration of the partnership both in time (usually quoted in minutes) and number of deliveries (balls) faced. Partnerships are often described as being for a particular wicket (for example, a "third wicket partnership", also called a "third wicket stand"—in this context, the "opening partnership" between the two opening batsmen is the "first wicket partnership"). This has the anomalous result that a partnership may be between more than two batsmen, if one of the original batsmen retires hurt but not out, since the particular numbered wicket will not have fallen yet.
In Australia, each state has enacted legislation regarding partnerships.
The definition of a partnership does not vary across jurisdictions, with each definition encompassing the following criteria in determining the existence of a partnership:
Valid Agreement between the parties;
To carry on a business - as opposed to a single or isolated transaction, which suggests a Joint venture.;
In Common - meaning there must be some mutuality of rights, agency, interests and obligations;
View to Profit - partnerships must form with a view to profit. Other business structures such as charities and sporting clubs do not seek to share profits and liabilities, and are thus treated differently under each state jurisdiction's respective Associations Incorporation Act.
Who is a partner?
As to whether any given person involved with a company is a 'partner', guidance is found in s.6 of the Act. Several rules are given. The most common are as follows:
Rule 1 - s.6(1)provides that there must be joint-ownership. This is rather self-explanatory but the mere fact that persons may be joint-tenants or have part ownership do not in themselves create a partnership. Typically, where the rules below point towards a partnership, such would generally satisfy this rule.