Partnership Act

Coming into Force20 May 1994
Act Number(Original Enactment: 53 & 54 Vict., c. 39)
copyrightNote© Singapore legislation sourced from Singapore Statutes Online. It is subject to copyright of the Singapore Government and is reproduced with the permission of the Attorney-General’s Chambers of Singapore.
Record NumberCap. 391
Published date20 May 1994
Partnership Act

(Original Enactment: 53 & 54 Vict., c. 39)

(20th May 1994)
An Act to declare and amend the Law of Partnership.
[12th November 1993*]
* Date when this Act was made applicable by the Application of English Law Act (Cap. 7A).
Nature of Partnership
Definition of partnership
1.—(1) Partnership is the relation which subsists between persons carrying on a business in common with a view of profit.
(2) But the relation between members of any company or association which is —
(a) registered as a company under the Companies Act [Cap. 50] or under any previous corresponding law; or
(b) formed or incorporated by or in pursuance of any other Act of Parliament,
is not a partnership within the meaning of this Act.
Rules for determining existence of partnership
2. In determining whether a partnership does or does not exist, regard shall be had to the following rules:
(1) Joint tenancy, tenancy in common, joint property, common property, or part ownership does not of itself create a partnership as to anything so held or owned, whether the tenants or owners do or do not share any profits made by the use thereof.
(2) The sharing of gross returns does not of itself create a partnership, whether the persons sharing such returns have or have not a joint or common right or interest in any property from which or from the use of which the returns are derived.
(3) The receipt by a person of a share of the profits of a business is prima facie evidence that he is a partner in the business, but the receipt of such a share, or of a payment contingent on or varying with the profits of a business, does not of itself make him a partner in the business; and in particular —
(a) the receipt by a person of a debt or other liquidated amount by instalments or otherwise out of the accruing profits of a business does not of itself make him a partner in the business or liable as such;
(b) a contract for the remuneration of a servant or agent of a person engaged in a business by a share of the profits of the business does not of itself make the servant or agent a partner in the business or liable as such;
(c) a person being the widow or child of a deceased partner, and receiving by way of annuity a portion of the profits made in the business in which the deceased person was a partner, is not by reason only of such receipt a partner in the business or liable as such;
(d) the advance of money by way of loan to a person engaged or about to engage in any business on a contract with that person that the lender shall receive a rate of interest varying with the profits, or shall receive a share of the profits arising from carrying on the business, does not of itself make the lender a partner with the person or persons carrying on the business or liable as such:
Provided that the contract is in writing, and signed by or on behalf of all the parties thereto;
(e) a person receiving by way of annuity or otherwise a portion of the profits of a business in consideration of the sale by him of the goodwill of the business is not by reason only of such receipt a partner in the business or liable as such.
Postponement of rights of person lending or selling in consideration of share of profits in case of insolvency
3. In the event of any person to whom money has been advanced by way of loan upon such a contract as is mentioned in section 2 or of any buyer of a goodwill in consideration of a share of the profits of the business, being adjudged a bankrupt, entering into an arrangement to pay his creditors less than the full amount owed, or dying in insolvent circumstances, the lender of the loan shall not be entitled to recover anything in respect of his loan, and the seller of the goodwill shall not be entitled to recover anything in respect of the share of profits contracted for, until the claims of the other creditors of the borrower or buyer for valuable consideration in money or money’s worth have been satisfied.
Meaning of firm
4. Persons who have entered into partnership with one another are for the purposes of this Act called collectively a firm, and the name under which their business is carried on is called the firm-name.
Relations of Partners to Persons Dealing with Them
Power of partner to bind firm
5. Every partner is an agent of the firm and his other partners for the purpose of the business of the partnership; and the acts of every partner who does any act for carrying on in the usual way business of the kind carried on by the firm of which he is a member bind the firm and his partners, unless the partner so acting has in fact no authority to act for the firm in the particular matter, and the person with whom he is dealing either knows that he has no authority, or does not know or believe him to be a partner.
Partners bound by acts on behalf of firm
6. An act or instrument relating to the business of the firm and done or executed in the firm-name, or in any other manner showing an intention to bind the firm, by any person thereto authorised whether a partner or not, is binding on the firm and all the partners:
Provided that this section shall not affect any general rule of law relating to the execution of deeds or negotiable instruments.
Partner using credit of firm for private purposes
7. Where one partner pledges the credit of the firm for a purpose apparently not connected with the firm’s ordinary course of business, the firm is not bound, unless he is in fact specially authorised by the other partners; but this section does not affect any personal liability incurred by an individual partner.
Effect of notice that firm will not be bound by acts of partner
8. If it has been agreed between the partners that any restriction shall be placed on the power of any one or more of them to bind the firm, no act done in contravention of the agreement is binding on the firm with respect to persons having notice of the agreement.
Liability of partners
9. Every partner in a firm is liable jointly with the other partners for all debts and obligations of the firm incurred while he is a partner; and after his death his estate is also severally liable in a due course of administration for such debts and obligations, so far as they remain unsatisfied, but subject to the prior payment of his separate debts.
Liability of firm for wrongs
10. Where, by any wrongful act or omission of any partner acting in the ordinary course of the business of the firm, or with the authority of his co-partners, loss or injury is caused to any person not being a partner in the firm, or any penalty is incurred, the firm is liable therefor to the same extent as the partner so acting or omitting to act.
Misapplication of money or property received for or in custody of firm
11. In the following cases:
(a) where one partner acting within the scope of his apparent authority receives the money or property of a third person and misapplies it; and
(b) where a firm in the course of its business receives money or property of a third person, and the money or property so received is misapplied by one or more of the partners while it is in the custody of the firm,
the firm is liable to make good the loss.
Liability for wrongs joint and several
12. Every partner is liable jointly with his co-partners and also severally for everything for which the firm while he is a partner therein becomes liable under section 10 or 11.
Improper employment of trust property for partnership purposes
13. If a partner, being a trustee, improperly employs trust property in the business or on the account of the partnership, no other partner is liable for the trust property to the persons beneficially interested therein:
Provided that —
(a) this section shall not affect any liability incurred by any partner by reason of his having notice of a breach of trust; and
(b) nothing in this section shall prevent trust money from being followed and recovered from the firm if still in its possession or under its control.
Persons liable by “holding out”
14. Every one who by words spoken or written or by conduct represents himself, or who knowingly suffers himself to be represented, as a partner in a particular firm, is liable as a partner to any one who has on the faith of any such representation given credit to the firm, whether the representation has or has not been made or communicated to the person so giving credit by or with the knowledge of the apparent partner making the representation or suffering it to be made:
Provided that where after a partner’s death the partnership business is continued in the old firm-name, the continued use of that name, or of the deceased partner’s name as part thereof shall not of itself make his executors or administrators, estate or effects liable for any partnership debts contracted after his death.
Admissions and representations of partners
15. An admission or representation made by any partner concerning the partnership affairs, and in the ordinary course of its business, is evidence against the firm.
Notice to acting partner to be notice to firm
16. Notice to any partner who habitually acts in the partnership business of any matter relating to partnership affairs operates as notice to the firm, except in the case of a fraud on the firm committed by or with the consent of that partner.
Liabilities of incoming and outgoing partners
17.—(1) A person who is admitted as a partner into an existing firm does not thereby become liable to the creditors of the firm for anything done before he became a partner.
(2) A partner who retires from a firm does not thereby cease to be liable for partnership debts or obligations incurred before his retirement.
(3) A retiring partner may be discharged from any existing liabilities, by an agreement to that effect between himself and the members of the firm as newly constituted and the creditors, and this agreement may be either express or inferred as a fact from the course of dealing between the creditors and the firm as newly constituted.
Revocation of continuing guaranty by change in firm
18. A

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