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General and Limited Partnership

A partnership occurs when two or more people own the business. According to the website of Slater Pugh, Ltd. LLP, business owners looking to establish a partnership have a number of options available to them regarding what type of partnership they would like to form.

There are generally two kinds of partnership, known as general partnership and limited partnership – either has its own advantages over the other.

General Partnership

In a general partnership, all the owners have equal powers on the business. All of them have equal gravity of responsibility in managing the business, controlling operations, and having a say in executive decisions. This also means that they can equally enjoy the profits of the business, as well as suffer from the liabilities, such as debts and losses.

Limited Partnership

In a limited partnership, there are both general partners and limited partners, wherein the general partners enjoy the things said earlier. Unlike general partners, limited partners have no management control, but in return, at least they don’t have to fully suffer from the liabilities.

Comparisons

On paper, general partnership seems to be the better choice when it comes to forming a partnership, primarily because of how equal everything is. Owners rise together and fall together. But this can also have its problems.

The most significant problem here is regarding liability, because it is joint and several. So, if one of the general owners cannot pay his due debts, the creditor can go to the other general owners to get what it is due, even if these general owners have already paid their fair share.

Limited partnership, on the other hand, can be seen as mere “investors” in the business, in the sense that they may be considered partners in the business, but they have very limited control and at the same time very limited liability. The worst that could happen is for them to lose their “investments,” and nothing more.

Depending on what you want to achieve, either type of partnership can give you tremendous upside compared to the other.

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The Times Beach Incident

Times Beach no longer exists as a town. Until the 1980s, it was a small beach town in Missouri that had a rough history. In 1972, the town hired Russell Bliss to oil their roads before paving them since most of the town was still using dirt roads. The new technique for this included spraying waste oil on the roads. The oil was a combination of Agent Orange, waste clay, and water that was removed from a chemical company in another part of Missouri. Over several years, dioxin was continuously sprayed throughout the city, seeping into the land and water supply of the area.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency became aware of the situation soon after and began taking samples of the area to measure levels of dioxin. The levels were 100 times higher than previously considered safe. In December 1982, a flood hit the town and spread the dioxin to previously unaffected parts of the town. The EPA ordered the evacuation of the all residents immediately, removing families from their homes without their belongings.

Over the course of the following decades, over 265,000 pounds of contaminated soil was removed from the area and incinerated. Dioxin is known to cause cancer, skin diseases, birth defects, and immune system disorders. The long-term effects of the residents is still unknown.

Times Beach is now known as Route 66 State Park after decades of cleaning the Dioxin from the land and water. While this may seem like a small success story of how the Superfund Act helps restore the environment, other cities in the U.S. are not so lucky. Due to toxic Monsanto PCBs, the residents of Anniston, Alabama are still struggling with dilapidating diseases such as diabetes and cancer. The manufacturers of chemicals like dioxins and PCBs should be held accountable for the long term effects of illegally dumping dangerous chemicals.

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How a Business Lawyer can Help You

A great majority of business owners have a certain distaste of lawyers and legal matters, leading them to do the work themselves rather than just hire legal experts. For many business owners, the benefits of hiring a good business lawyer may not be readily apparent, however, long-term costs of legal battles and costs of a failing business could prove more expensive and fatal. Addressing any legal problems long before they begin is a more practical option than to wait for problems to arise then hire a business lawyer.

Even small businesses should not be afraid of hiring a business lawyer to help them in legal stuff. Having a good business lawyer will help in giving important services in just about every aspect of the business. It is important to have the business legally sound in order for it to flourish and succeed, whether you take that advice from a law firm or a solicitor. Your business should know how the state laws and regulations work in order to have a stronger foundation, making it more flexible to changes in the economy. A strong foundation for a business would make it more prepared for anything unexpected.

Having legal help can provide you smoother transactions and negotiations regarding contracts, intellectual properties, employment laws, and terms and conditions that can be cause problems in the future. You learn how to protect your business and yourself against possible debts and insurance necessities. Legal help can ensure that you are properly dealing with regulations that would affect your business and protect your standard terms of your trade contract.

Legal disputes are always difficult to handle, which is why it is always better to have a lawyer who can immediately handle significant legal matters (if not prevent them before happening). They will be the one who will represent the business in court, and handle the dispute. Because legal disputes can destroy a business, having good legal help would be a better preventive option.

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