A partnership can be created under Tennessee law without the partners ever having a written partnership agreement. Even where parties have not expressly agreed, verbally, to operate a partnership, an implied partnership can be formed under Tennessee law where the parties involved intended the acts that give rise to a partnership. The consequences, good and bad, of being in an implied partnership can be financially significant.
If you are in an implied partnership, that may be a good thing to establish in a Tennessee court as it may allow you successfully to recover money, property or profits another partner owes you or is withholding. Being a partner in an implied partnership, however, can also result in your personal liability, not just to other partners, but to third parties. To boot, it can result in your being liable to a third party based on an act or omission of the person or persons with whom you are determined to be in an implied partnership.
This blog discusses two general topics about implied partnerships in Tennessee: (1) How Tennessee courts determine whether an implied partnership exists; and (2) the resulting advantages and disadvantages to partners in implied partnerships.
DOES AN IMPLIED PARTNERSHIP EXIST?
Under the Tennessee Revised Uniform Partnership Act (“TRUPA”), a partnership is formed “by the association of two or more persons to carry on as co-owners of a business for profit … whether or not the persons intend to form a partnership.” Under TRUPA, a “person” includes business entities such as limited liability companies and corporations. Significantly, TRUPA provides that owning property together, in and of itself, even where profits from it are shared, does not establish a partnership.