General And Limited Partnerships: Features Of Legal Regulation In Ukraine And European States

  • V.V. Anatiichuk
Keywords: general and limited partnerships, legal entity, joint activity, association of persons.


The article focuses on one of the corporate forms of entrepreneurial activity - general and limited partnerships. Limited liability companies and joint stock companies are among the most popular legal forms of companies. However, the development of Ukrainian legislation moves in the direction of creating a system of different forms of entrepreneurship, which are aimed at different needs and interests of their founders. Such forms of entrepreneurship exist and operate successfully in Europe. Carrying out a comparative analysis in the article allows the author to confirm the existing thesis that there is no single vector in European countries concerning the legal status of these partnerships. Some states define these partnerships as legal entities, others - as a form of joint business activity.

It is emphasized in the article that the European legal space is characterized by the use of the concept of defective legal entity. The author perceives any of these European approaches, but points to the need for its consistent reflection in all legal acts that determine the status of general and limited partnerships. The article supports the assertion formed in the scientific literature about the criticism of domestic legislation on general and limited partnerships. Such criticism concerns to those norms of Ukrainian legislation, which use untypical provisions for legal entities. All existing researches are directed to one aim - to develop a single vector in the regulation of general and limited partnerships. They should be regulated either as legal entities or as forms of joint activity on the basis of an agreement.

The author states that the main attention in granting general and limited partnerships the status of a legal entity should be focused on clear boundaries between the liability of a legal entity and the subsidiary liability of its members.

The article supports leading scholars’ critical assessment of the legislative definition of general partnerships as an association of persons for joint business activities. Based on the analysis of the definitions of a general partnership in EU law (for example, France), it is proposed to define a general partnership as an association of persons engaged in business activities through joint contributions of all participants (full partners) and their subsidiary liability for the company’s obligations. This wording indicates that the partnership itself carries out business activities, and not its members.

The author also does not deny the possibility of introducing general and limited partnerships as associations of persons on the basis of an agreement on joint activities. At the same time, it is noted that all norms of national legislation should consistently adhere to such concept.