Legal Question in Business Law in Pennsylvania

The liability of a partnership

If my wife and partner have a small business (carpet cleaning for example)

and does not have liability insurance and is sued. If theres a demand for

monitary reward can it reach into our personal belongings (home, savings...etc..)

or is it limited to her business assets?

Asked on 3/05/01, 6:11 pm

2 Answers from Attorneys

Gerald Hershenson Law Office of Gerald M. Hershenson

Re: The liability of a partnership

The question that you ask depends upon what type of legal entity you operate. If you operate as a corporate entity your personal assets will not be subject to attachment. If you are a business that is run on a individual basis your personal assets will be subject to attachment. More information is needed. If you want a more detailed response, please call or write me at 1-215-579-9390 or at [email protected] See my web site Gerald Hershenson Esq.

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Answered on 5/10/01, 9:45 am
Bruce McCullough Bodell Bove', LLC

Re: The liability of a partnership

General partners are personally liable for the debts of the partnership, so personal assets would be reachable. When a partnership is involved, under Pennsylvania law it does not exist as a legal entity separate from the individual partners. A lawsuit by or against a partnership names the indivdual partners, not the partnership.

Many small businesses choose to exist as a corporation (particularly an "S" corp.) or a Limited Liability Company (LLC). These forms of organization keep personal assets from being available for company liabilities. They can be set up so income and expenses are treated as personal, which avoids separate corporate taxation.

This is general information for discussion purposes. Please feel free to contact me if you want to review your individual situation.

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Answered on 5/10/01, 11:06 am

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