Set up a business partnership

Business: Setting Up

    The business partnership and individual partners must register for Self Assessment with HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) and follow certain rules on running and naming the business partnership.

    Register for Self Assessment

    You’ll need to choose a ‘nominated partner’ – the partner responsible for managing the partnership’s tax returns and keeping business records.

    The nominated partner must register the partnership and themselves for Self Assessment. The other partners register separately, they usually do this after the partnership is registered.

    You can register for Self Assessment with HMRC.


    In a business partnership, you’re running a business as a self-employed individual but all the partners share responsibility for the business. You can share all the profits between the partners and each partner pays tax on their share of the profits.

    Both the nominated partner and individual partners are responsible for:

    • sending their personal Self Assessment tax return every year
    • paying their Income Tax on their share of the partnership’s profits
    • paying their National Insurance
    • any losses the business makes
    • bills for the business – eg when they buy stock or equipment

    The nominated partner must also send the partnership’s tax return.

    Naming your partnership

    You can use your own names or trade under a business name. There are rules on using a business name. You can’t:

    • use the terms ‘Limited,’ ‘Ltd’, ‘public limited company,’ ‘plc,’ ‘limited liability partnership,’ ‘LLP’ or their Welsh equivalents
    • use ‘sensitive’ words or expressions unless you get permission
    • suggest a connection with government or local authorities
    • use a name that is too similar to a registered trademark or an existing business in the same area or sector
    • be offensive

    You usually have to include all the partner’s names as well as your business name (if you have one) on any official paperwork, like invoices and letters.

    Registering a business partnership with HM Revenue & Customs and legal responsibilities if you run a business as a partnership