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Ministers seek evidence in review of limited partnership use

24 January 2017

A review of the registration and use of limited partnerships is being undertaken by the UK Government, following reports that limited partnerships registered in Scotland are being used for criminal activity.

The number of such partnerships registered in Scotland has shown a significant increase recently in comparison to those registered in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, but there is little evidence to explain why, or information to demonstrate that this increase is benefiting the Scottish economy (or the UK as a whole) as a result.

Only limited partnerships registered in Scotland have separate legal personality from the partners themselves, with the ability to own property or enter into contracts. Media reports have suggested that these bodies are being used as a front for criminal activity, sometimes having no connection with Scotland.

The review is seeking views and evidence on:

  • the possible reasons why registration of limited partnerships in Scotland has increased;
  • the value limited partnerships bring to the UK economy as a whole;
  • how the wider limited partnership framework operates and whether any changes need to be made;
  • what the legal characteristics are that might act as the enabler to possible criminal activity.

At the same time ministers are taking the opportunity to look at other aspects of the surrounding law. These include transparency requirements, principal place of business for the purposes of registration and the serving of legal documents, the arrangements for the ending of a limited partnership and finally the role of formation agents.

Click here to access the consultation. The deadline for responses is 17 March 2017.

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