In a partnership, when one of the partner’s contributions is limited to capital contribution in the business, these partners are known as silent partners. A silent partner does not get involved in the daily operations of the firm and management meetings. Silent partners are also known as limited partners as their liability is limited to the amount invested by them in the partnership.
A silent partner can play a different role in a partnership apart from capital contribution. A silent partner can step in when any disputes take place between the existing active partners. They can guide the business by providing their expert advice and contribute to business development by bringing new business contracts.
The silent partner needs to have full confidence in general partners in terms of the ability to grow the business. While investing in a partnership firm, it is essential that silent partner ensures that the vision of management and partner matches.
There are numerous benefits that can be enjoyed by the silent partners in comparison to the other partnership forms. Silent partners are not involved or have the responsibility to manage the daily operations of an organisation. Moreover, a silent partner gets involved in any business because of their finance rather than expertise or knowledge regarding the business’s operations. To become a successful silent partner, the investor need not have prowess over investment knowledge but should have done due diligence to investigate the company’s profit and loss statement.
A person becomes a silent partner by acting as an income source without the constant need to review or analyse the investment. It is essential that the silent partner has trust in the organisation or the business and its active management that he/she is investing in.
Once the person gains trust in the capabilities of the business and its establishment, the silent partner only has to enjoy the profits which are generated by the company. To become a successful investor, a person should assess the organisation from all the possible aspects before committing their funds to a company. A strong level of trust is required to act as a silent partner and enjoy the benefits.
Even when an individual has conducted extensive research before becoming a silent partner, things might not work out for him. The companies which are showing growth in the last ten years might encounter some issues which have a direct impact on their growth or even stability. When a situation of concern arises then the silent partner might get involved in the business operations as they have invested a large sum of money in the business. This can create a difficult situation as a dysfunctional scenario might be created.
A silent partnership must be limited to the details which are specified in the agreement between the investor and the management. It is crucial for a firm that silent partner does not interfere in the business operations when the company is going through any kind of crisis as it can further create panic in the operations.
The silent partner needs to have trust in the business’ management and capabilities as it ensures the success of the partnership agreement. It is important that the agreement states the buyout strategy in case both the company and the silent partners are not happy with the partnership agreement. In case the agreement specifies all the boundaries prior to entering a partnership and if all the parties abide by the rules stated then usually the trouble can be avoided.
Active partners – An active partner is responsible for running the operations of the business. While entering into an agreement, each general partner generally takes a specific role such as marketing, production, and sales. In some cases, the partners might work together in all the different areas. The active partners have more liability in the business as their actions have a direct impact on the clients, customers, and suppliers. In case of damage by anyone active partner, another partner would also be liable to cover the damages.