Only a handful of limited partnerships are registered with the department each year, and there are perhaps 1100 or so that have been registered since the commencement of the legislation. The department is developing an electronic database from the Register which may be accessible in future.
What is a limited partnership?
Under s4 of the Act, a limited partnership is one formed by up to 20 persons, at least one of whom must be a general partner and at least one a limited partner. Within those parameters there are no further restrictions on the number of general or limited partners who may comprise the firm.
The general partner(s) is liable for all of the debts and obligations of the partnership or firm; the limited partner(s) contributes a defined amount of capital to the partnership, but is not otherwise liable for its debts or obligations. Limited partners might perhaps be thought of as "silent partners" in that by s6 of the Act they may not take any part in the management of the partnership business; if they do, they become liable - for that period of management at least - for the debts and obligations of the firm in the same way as a general partner.
Similarly, if a limited partnership is formed and not registered in accordance with the Act, the partnership is deemed to be a general partnership and every limited partner deemed to be a general partner (s5).
Apart from the Act, the Partnership Act (1895) and the rules of equity and common law also apply to the limited partnership, unless inconsistent with the Act.
Registering a limited partnership
For the purposes of the Act, the Commissioner for Consumer Protection is the Registrar. Registration of a limited partnership is effected by delivering to the Registrar a statement signed by the partners setting out certain particulars. The Application for Registration of a Limited Partnership (Form LP1) may be downloaded and used for this purpose. There is also a fee payable which must be forwarded with the registration application.
A Certificate of Registration will be issued and forwarded once the registration process has been completed.
If the limited partnership is carrying on as a business, it may also need to be registered with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission.
Please note in some circumstances the contributions to the limited partnerships may be dutiable under the under the Duty Act 2008. Therefore it is suggested you contact State Revenue to ascertain if this applies to your proposed application:
Changes to partnerships
The Registrar is required by s9 of the Act to be notified of any change in the following:
- the firm name
- the general nature of the business
- the principal place of business
- the partners or the name of any partner
- the term or character of the partnership
- the sum contributed by any limited partner *
- the liability of any partner by reason of becoming a limited instead of a general partner ** and vice versa
Form LP2 (Notice of Change in the Limited Partnership) may be used for this purpose. The Registrar must be advised within 7 days of the change(s) occurring.
** Section 10 of the Act requires that where a general partner becomes a limited partner such change will be advertised forthwith in the Government Gazette
- for the registration of a limited partnership: $174.00
- for the inspection of statements lodged: $4.50
Instructions for using forms
The forms provided here are available in MS Word format only. This format easily accommodates variations in the amount of information required due to different numbers of partners in the firm.
The forms are designed to be mostly completed "on-screen" before being printed for original signatures to be affixed. [If a blank copy of a form is preferred, the "insert" instructions will need to be deleted before printing.] It is important that no change to any wording on the form is made except where information is required to be entered.
The forms are completed by using the F11 key to move through the document and keyboarding in the information required for each of the sections identified in coloured text. The cursor needs to be placed above the first coloured section on each form to be able to work through the entire document in order.
Simply strike the F11 key and then type in the required information; the entered text remains coloured. Strike F11 to move to the next section requiring input and so on.
For more information
Please contact our Associations and Charities Branch by:
Unit 4 / 321 Selby St North, Osborne Park WA
Postal Address: Locked Bag 14, Cloisters Square, WA 6850
Telephone: (08) 9282 0764
WA Country Callers: 1300 30 40 74
Facsimile: +61 8 9282 4337