Partnership Act, 1932 – Important Points
This act applies to the whole of India except the state of Jammu and Kashmir.
The relationship of partnership arises from contract and not from status. The members of a Hindu Undivided Family carrying on a family business as such are not partners in such business.
Where no provision is made by contract between the partners for the duration of their partnership, or for the determination of their partnership, the partnership is “partnership-at-will”
A person may become a partner with another person in particular adventures or undertakings.
Imposing restriction on partner
Notwithstanding anything contained in section 27 of the Indian Contract Act, 1872, such contracts may provide that a partner shall not carry on any business other than that of the firm while he is a partner.
IMPLIED AUTHORITY OF PARTNER AS AGENT OF THE FIRM
(1) Subject to the provisions of section 22, the act of a partner which is done to carry on, in the usual way, business of the kind carried on by the firm, binds the firm.
The authority of a partner to bind the firm conferred by this section is called his “implied authority.
(2) In the absence of any usage or custom of trade to the contrary, the implied authority of a partner does not empower him to –
(a) submit a dispute relating to the business of the firm to arbitration,
(b) open a banking account on behalf of the firm in his own name,
(c) compromise or relinquish any claim or portion of a claim by the firm,
(d) withdraw a suit or proceeding filed on behalf of the firm,
(e) admit any liability in a suit or proceeding against the firm
(f) acquire immovable property on behalf of the firm,
(g) transfer immovable property belonging to the firm, or
(h) enter into partnership on behalf of the firm.
The partners in a firm may, by contract between the partners, extend or restrict the implied authority of any partner.
Notwithstanding any such restriction, any act done by a partner on behalf of the firm which falls within his implied authority binds the firm, unless the person with whom he is dealing knows of the restriction or does not know or believe that partner to be a partner.
Firm’s liability after partner’s death
Where after partner’s death the business continued in the old firm-name, the continued use of that name or of the deceased partner’s name as a part thereof shall not of itself make his legal representative or his estate liable for any act of the firm done after his death.
RIGHTS OF TRANSFEREE OF A PARTNER’S INTEREST
(1) A transfer by a partner of his interest in the firm, either absolute or by mortgage, or, by the creation by him of a charge on such interest, does not entitle the transferee, during the continuance of the firm, to interfere in the conduct of the business or to require accounts or to inspect the books of the firm, but entitles the transferee only to receive the share of profits of the transferring partner, and the transferee shall accept the account of profits agreed to by the partners.
(2) If the firm is dissolved or if the transferring partner ceases to be a partner, the transferee is entitled as against the remaining partners, to receive the share of the assets of the firm to which the transferring partner is entitled and, for the purpose of ascertaining that share, to an account as from the date of the dissolution.
Minor as partner
(1) A person who is a minor according to the law to which he is subject may not be a partner in a firm, but, with the consent of all the partners for the time being, he may be admitted to the benefits of partnership.
(2) Such minor has a right to such share of the property and of the profits of the firm as may be agreed upon, and he may have access to and inspect and copy any of the accounts of the firm.
(3) Such minor’s share is liable for the acts of the firm but the minor is not personally liable for any such act.
(4) Such minor may not sue the partners for an account or payment of his share of the property or profits of the firm, save when severing his connection with the firm, and in such case the amount of his share shall be determined by a valuation made as far as possible in accordance with the rules contained in section 48 :
Provided that all the partners acting together or any partner entitled to dissolve the firm upon notice to other partners may elect in such suit to dissolve the firm, and thereupon the Court shall proceed with the suit as one for dissolution and for settling accounts between the partners and the amount of the share of the minor shall be determined along with the shares of the partners.
(5) At any time within six months of his attaining majority, or of his obtaining knowledge that he had been admitted to the benefits of partnership, whichever date is later, such person may give public notice that he has elected to become or that he has elected not to become a partner in the firm, and such notice shall determine his position as regards the firm :
Provided that, if he fails to give such notice, he shall become a partner in the firm on the expiry of the said six months.
(6) Where any person has been admitted as a minor to the benefits of partnership in a firm, the burden of proving the fact that such person had no knowledge of such admission until a particular date after the expiry of six months of his attaining majority shall lie on the person asserting that fact.
(7) Where such person becomes a partner –
(a) his rights and liabilities as a minor continue upto the date on which he becomes a partner, but he also becomes personally liable to third parties for all acts of the firm done since he was admitted to the benefits of partnership, and
(b) his share in the property and profits of the firm shall be the share to which he was entitled as a minor.
(8) Where such person elects not be to become a partner, –
(a) his rights and liabilities shall continue to be those of a minor under the section upto the date on which he gives public notice;
(b) his share shall not be liable for any acts for the firm done after the date of the notice; and
(c) he shall be entitled to sue the partners for his share of the property and profits in accordance with sub-section (4).
(9) Nothing in sub-sections (7) and (8) shall affect the provisions of section 28.
HUF AS A PARTNER
A HUF can not become partners in a firm. Also a huf can not be partner in a firm by appointing karta or any other member as nominee. If karta or any member is partner in a firm, he is a partner in his individual capacity. Neither the HUF nor any member of the HUF can claim to be a partner or connected with the partnership through a nominee. (Source)
INTRODUCTION OF A PARTNER
(1) Subject to contract between the partners and to the provisions of section 30, no person shall be introduced as a partner into a firm without the consent of all the existing partners.
(2) Subject to the provisions of section 80, a person who is introduced as a partner into a firm does not thereby become liable for any act of the firm done before he became a partner.
RETIREMENT OF A PARTNER
(1) A partner may retire –
(a) with the consent of all the otter partners,
(b) in accordance with an express agreement by the partners, or
(c) where the partnership is at will, by giving notice in writing to all the other partners of his intention to retire.
(2) A retiring partner may be discharged from any liability to any third party for acts of the firm done before his retirement by an agreement made by him with such third party and the partners of the reconstituted firm, and such agreement may be implied by a course of dealing between such third party and the reconstituted firm after he had knowledge of the retirement.
(3) Notwithstanding the retirement of a partner from a firm, he and the partners continue to be liable as partners to third parties for any act done by any of them which would have been an act of the firm if done before the retirement, until public
notice is given of the retirement
Provided that a retired partner is not liable to any third party who deals with the firm without knowing that he was a party.
(4) Notices under sub-section (3) may be given by the retired partner or by any partner of the reconstituted firm.
EXPULSION OF A PARTNER
A partner may not be expelled from a firm by any majority of the partners, save in the exercise in good faith or powers conferred by contract between the partners.
INSOLVENCY OF A PARTNER
(1) Where a partner in a firm is adjudicated an insolvent, he ceases to be a partner on the date on which the order of adjudication is made, whether or not the firm is thereby dissolved.
(2) Where under a contract between the partners the firm is not dissolved by the adjudication of a partner as an insolvent, the estate of a partner so adjudicated is not liable for any act of the firm and the firm is not liable for any act of the insolvent, done after the date on which the order of adjudication is made.
Application for registration
(1) Subject to the provisions of sub-section of sub-section (1A), the registration of a firm effected by sending by post or delivering to the Registrar of the area in which any place of business of the firm is situated or proposed to be situated, a statement in the prescribed form and accompanied by the prescribed fee and a true copy of the deed of partnership stating :
(a) the firm-name,
(aa) the nature of business of the firm;
(b) the place or principal place of business of the firm,
(c) the names of any other places where the firm carries on business,
(d) the date when each partner joined the firm,
(e) the names in full and permanent addresses of the partners, and
(f) the duration of the firm.
The statement shall be signed by all the partners, or by their agents specially authorised in this behalf.
(1A) The statement under sub-section (1) shall be sent or delivered to the Registrar within a period of one year from the date of constitution of the firm :
Provided that in the case of any firm carrying on business on or before the date of commencement of the Indian Partnership (Maharashtra Amendment) Act, 1984, such statement shall be sent or delivered to the Registrar within a period of one year firm such date.
(2) Each person signing the statement shall also verify it in the manner prescribed.
(3) A firm shall not have any of the names or emblems specified in the Schedule to the Emblems and Names (Prevention of Improper Use) Act, 1950, or any colourable imitation thereof, unless permitted so to do under that Act, or any name which is likely to be associated by the public with the name of any other firm on account of similarity, or any name which, in the opinion of the Registrar, for reasons to be recorded in writing, is undesirable :
Provided that nothing in this sub-section shall apply to any firm registered under any such name before the date of the commencement of the Indian Partnership (Maharashtra Amendment) Act, 1984.
(4) Any person aggrieved by an order of the Registrar under sub-section (3), may, within 30 days from the date of communication of such order, appeal to the officer not below the rank of Deputy Secretary to Government authorised by the State Government in this behalf, in such manner, and on payment of such fee, as may be prescribed. On receipt of any such appeal, the authorised officer shall, after giving an opportunity of being heard to the appellant, decide the appeal, and his decision shall be final.