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Can I run a franchise in partnership with my wife?
There is no reason why a franchisee cannot run a franchise in partnershipwith their spouse. However, the question will be what form the ‘partnership’ takes. When entering into a franchise agreement, a franchisee can, in theory, enter into the franchise agreement in a number of ways - in his/her sole name, as a limited company or as a partnership. There is now the possibility of setting up a limited liability partnership (LLP) in addition to the more traditional partnership arrangement. An LLP shares many of the features of a normal partnership, but also offers reduced personal responsibility for business debts. Unlike partners in a more traditional partnership, the LLP itself will be responsible for any debts that it runs up, not the individual partners. Another consideration will be the requirements of the franchisor. For example, if a franchisee enters into the franchise agreement as a limited company, a franchisor may insist that the individuals behind the company give personal guarantees. The same may also be true if the franchisee is an LLP. If you want to set up a more informal partnership arrangement, where your wife assists you running the business, but the contractual relationship remains between you and your franchisor, then the simple option would be for you to employ your wife at the relevant level and with the relevant title within your organisation.
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