Limited Liability Partnership (LLP) is a new corporate form to provide an alternative to the traditional partnership with unlimited personal liability on the one hand, and, the statute-based governance structure of the limited liability company on the other. LLP is a good hybrid of partnership and company which enables professional expertise and entrepreneurial initiative to operate in flexible and efficient manner.
LLP provides the benefits of limited liability but allows its members the flexibility of organizing their internal structure as a partnership based on a mutually arrived agreement. Owing to flexibility in its structure and operation, the LLP is a suitable vehicle for small enterprises and for investment by venture capital.
(i) The LLP is a body corporate and a legal entity separate from its partners. Any two or more persons, associated for carrying on a lawful business with a view to profit, may by subscribing their names to an incorporation document and filing the same with the Registrar, form a Limited Liability Partnership. The LLP has a perpetual succession;
(ii) The mutual rights and duties of partners of an LLP inter se and those of the LLP and its partners are governed by an agreement between partners or between the LLP and the partners subject to the provisions of the LLP Act 2008.
The act provides flexibility to devise the agreement as per their choice. In the absence of any such agreement, the mutual rights and duties shall be governed by the provisions of tine LLP Act;
(iii) The LLP has a separate legal entity, liable to the full extent of its assets, with the liability of the partners being limited to their agreed contribution in the LLP which may be of tangible or intangible nature or both tangible and intangible in nature.
No partner would be liable on account of the independent or unauthorized actions of other partners or their misconduct. The liabilities of the LLP and partners who are found to have acted with intent to defraud creditors or for any fraudulent purpose shall be unlimited for all or any of the debts or other liabilities of the LLP;
(iv) Every LLP must have at least two partners and must also have at least two individuals as Designated Partners (akin to the directors of a company), of whom at least one shall be resident in India. The duties and obligations of Designated Partners are as provided in the law;
(v) The LLP is under an obligation to maintain annual accounts reflecting true and fair view of its state of affairs. A statement of accounts and solvency must be filed by every LLP with the Registrar every year. The accounts of LLPs must also be audited, subject to any class of LLPs being exempted from this requirement by the Central Government;
(vi) The Central Government has powers to investigate the affairs of an LLP, if required, by appointment of competent Inspector for the purpose;
(vii) A firm, private company or an unlisted public company is allowed to be converted into LLP in accordance with the provisions of the Act. Upon such conversion, on and from the date of certificate of registration issued by the Registrar, all tangible (moveable or immoveable) and intangible property vested in the firm or the company, all assets, interests, rights, privileges, liabilities, obligations relating to the firm or the company, and the whole of the undertaking of the firm or the company, shall be transferred to and shall vest in the LLP without further assurance, act or deed and the firm or the company, shall be deemed to be dissolved and removed from the records of the Registrar of Firms or Registrar of Companies, as the case may be;
(viii) The winding up of the LLP may be either voluntary or by the Tribunal to be established under the Companies Act, 1956. Till the Tribunal is established, the power in this regard has been given to the High Court;
(ix) The LLP Act 2008 confers powers on the Central Government to apply provisions of the Companies Act, 1956 as appropriate, by notification with such changes or modifications as deemed necessary.
However, such notifications shall be laid in draft before each House of Parliament for a total period of 30 days and shall be subject to any modification as may be approved by both Houses;
(x) The Indian Partnership Act, 1932 shall not be applicable to LLPs.