Methods of Doing Business


The County Clerk-Recorder and Deputy Clerk-Recorders are prohibited from rendering legal advice or assistance (Government Code Sections 24004 and 68082). The following information is taken from Black's Law Dictionary and is not intended to provide exact legal definitions under California law or to replace the need to consult an attorney. You should always seek legal advice prior to entering into any legal commitment.


As distinguished from a joint-stock company, a pure "business trust" is one in which the managers are principals, and the share holders are estuis que trust (those who have a right to a beneficial interest in and out of an estate, the legal title to which is vested in another).


A partnership (a voluntary contract between two or more competent persons to place their money, effects, labor, and skill, or some or all of them, in lawful commerce or business, with the understanding that there shall be a proportional sharing of the profits and losses between them).


An entity (usually a business) having authority under law to act as a single person distinct from the shareholders who own it and having rights to issue stock and exist indefinitely.

Limited Partnership

A partnership composed of one or more persons who control the business and are personally liable for the partnership's debts (called general partners), and one of more persons who contribute capital and share profits but who cannot manage the business and are liable only for the amount of their contribution (called limited partners). (In California, a limited partnership must be filed with the Secretary of State and is defined as a partnership formed by two or more persons under the laws of this state and having one or more general partners and one or more limited partners).

General Partnership

A partnership in which all partners participate fully in running the business and share equally in profits and losses (though the partners' monetary contributions may vary).


A single person as distinguished from a group or class.

Married Couple

Two individuals who are married under California State law.

Registered Domestic Partners

A Domestic Partnership must be filed with the State of California for either; a non marital relationship between two persons of the opposite sex who live together as a couple or two persons of the opposite sex with at least one person being over the age of 62.

Joint Venture

A business undertaking by two or more persons engaged in a single defined project.

Limited Liability Company (LLC) A company statutorily authorized in certain states that is characterized by limited liability, management by members or managers, and limitations on ownership transfer.

Limited Liability Partnership (LLP) A partnership in which a partner is not liable for a negligent act committed by another partner or by an employee not under the partner's supervision. (In California, LLP's may only be formed by licensed persons for the practices of public accountancy, law or architecture).

For more information contact the Clerk-Recorder Division at (530) 283-6218