Creating the Family Limited Partnership
The first step in creating the Family Limited Partnership is the preparation and filing of the Certificate of Limited Partnership with the Secretary of State. The form asks for the name of the limited partnership. This name should be cleared in advance with the Secretary of State’s office because the filing will not be accepted if the name is similar to another name already on file. The Certificate of Limited Partnership also asks for the name of a designated Agent for the Service of Process, which is the name and address of a person (or company) who is authorized by the partnership to receive service of process if the partnership is sued for any reason. Any family member residing in the state can be designated as the agent. There are also companies that will, for a modest fee, act as the designated agent for these purposes.
The form also asks for the names and addresses of all general partners of the partnership. The names of the limited partners are not required. Since this document is a matter of public record, the names of the general partners will be publicly available but not the names of the limited partners. Along with the Certificate of Limited Partnership, each state requires a filing fee which varies from state to state.
When the Secretary of State’s office receives the properly filled out form, with an acceptable partnership name, the Certificate will be filed. At this point, the partnership will be legally formed. You should request that a certified copy of the Certificate of Limited Partnership be returned to you, and your copy should be stamped with the filing date. It is essential that you have at least one certified copy for opening a bank or brokerage account, or for the purchase or sale of real estate in the name of the partnership.