Duration Of Partnership

While forming a partnership firm the partners may fix some specific term for its duration or decide that it may be terminated any time at will of the partners. Thus, a partnership firm in terms of duration can be (i) partnership at will, or (ii) particular partnership.

Partnership at will: When there is no provision in partnership agreement for duration of the partnership, the partnership is called ‘partnership at will’ (Sec. 7). In such a situation, the partners are free to terminate their relationship at will i.e., simply by giving a notice to that effect to all other partners. Thus, such partnership is for an indefinite period.

Particular partnership: When a partnership is formed for a specific venture or for a particular period, it is called particular partnership (Sec. 8). Such partnership automatically comes to an end on the completion of the venture or on the expiry of the period. If, however, the partners want to dissolve the partnership before the fixed period, it can be done only by the mutual consent of all the partners. Similarly, if the partnership is continued after the expiry of term or completion of the venture it is deemed to be a partnership at will.

Partner, Firm and Firm’s Name

As stated, persons who have entered into partnership are individually called ‘partners’ and collectively “a firm”, and the name under which their business is carried on is called the “firm name”. In law “a firm” is only a convenient phrase for describing the group of partners. But the firm has no legal existence apart from the partners. It is not a separate entity like a company. It is simply a collective name of members of a partnership firm.

As regards the “firm name”, partners are free to choose any name and style provided they do not violate the rules relating to trade name or goodwill. They must not adopt a name calculated to mislead the public into confusing them with a firm of repute already in existence with a similar name. They must not use a name implying the sanction or patronage of the Government.

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