How Do I Relocate a General Partnership to Another State?

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A general partnership is a business form that operates as an alter ego of the partners. Since the partners are personally responsible for business debts, the law rarely require general partnerships to formally register with a state in the same way as corporations and limited-liability companies that have an independent existence and shield owners from liability. To conduct business in a state, a general partnership needs to locally register an assumed business name and obtain any specialty licenses it needs if it operates in a state-regulated industry. This informality makes it simple to relocate a general partnership to another state.

Cancel your assumed business name, also known as a DBA or "doing business as," if you have one. Contact the county clerk's office where you originally filed your assumed name application. Submit a withdrawal certificate to inform the clerk that you will no longer be using the name for business purposes in the county. Repeat in any county in the state where your business name is registered. Skip this step if your business never used or registered an assumed business name.

Surrender all state and local business licenses and permits. Contact state agencies and notify them of your pending move. Hand in all state documents and cancel registrations and memberships. Skip this step if your partnership never needed licenses or permits, such as in the case of a consulting practice operated out of a partner's home.

Close state sales and employment tax accounts. Contact the state department of revenue. Inform it of your pending move and provide a new contact address in case of future issues. Pay all outstanding taxes. Close the accounts. Skip this step if your partnership never sold goods subject to state sales taxes or hired employees.

Close or transfer business operating accounts. Conduct an orderly transfer of accounts, such as your business bank accounts, to the new state. Either change the business address for accounts that will remain open or close the account and open a new account in the new location. Keep records from all closed accounts for tax purposes.

Notify customers, vendors and other business relationships of the change. Send out a written notice of relocation to customers, vendors and other business relationships. Often you will need references from prior contacts even if they are not remaining with you through the relocation. Conclude all relationships in a professional manner.

Apply for an assumed business name in the new location. If your partnership plans to use a business name that is not the name of the partners, determine if it is available for use in your new location. Contact the clerk's office for the county where the partnership will conduct its business. Request a business name search. If the name is available, submit an application to use an assumed business name.

Secure state and local licenses and permits. Apply for any licenses or permits that are required under state law for the business the partnership engages in. Check with the state licensing bureau and the local business permit office for a list of product regulations and controlled industries.

Open appropriate business operational accounts. Set up bank accounts, insurance, telephone and any other type of operational account needed to conduct business.

Pay state income taxes in each state for the portion of the year the business was operating in that jurisdiction. Submit a state income tax return for the general partnership and the partners for each state, including income and expenses for the portion of the year the partnership was located there. Mark the "Final Return" box on the business tax return for the old state. Use the new address for the partnership and mark the "Change of Address" box so the state has the new address in case of problems. In the new state, mark the "Initial Return" box on the state's business tax forms.

Tips & Warnings

  • A couple of states are unusual and require every business, even a sole proprietorship and a general partnership, to register with the secretary of state's office to obtain a generic state business license in the same way as a corporation or limited-liability company. Check the state's website to determine whether you are moving to a state with this requirement. If so, make sure to submit the proper paperwork before conducting business in your new location.

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