This blog post series will define some of the most commonly used acronyms and terms in business law. This is the second in our business acronym series. You can read part one here. For this second post, we will define the following terms: GP, ABN, and EIN.
A “GP” is a “General Partnership.” A General Partnership is a form of business organization created when two or more persons carry on a business as co-owners for profit. This organization is unique because parties can enter into a General Partnership unintentionally. General Partnerships may be formally organized with the Idaho Secretary of State but may exist even without any formal filing.
There is no limited liability for partners in a General Partnership. All partners are personally liable for the obligations of the partnership. Other business organizations, such as limited partnerships and limited liability companies, provide similar partnership structures for business owners but provide limited liability protections.
An “ABN” is an Assumed Business Name. Any business or individual may file a Certificate of Assumed Business Name with the Idaho Secretary of State. The filing provides notice to third parties that the business name is being used in Idaho.
The term “ABN” is also sometimes referred to as “DBA”, an abbreviation for “Doing Business As.” There is no difference between the terms ABN and DBA. An ABN is not a business license or any form of business organization. It does not provide limited liability protection and there are also no trademark protections that arise solely from filing an ABN—more than one business or individual can file an ABN for the same name.
An “EIN” is an “Employer Identification Number.” An EIN is used by the Internal Revenue Service for tax administration purposes. EINs can be used by a variety of business organizations, including partnerships, sole proprietors, corporations, and limited liability companies. There are unique rules and forms for applying for an EIN, depending on the type of organization. In some circumstances, businesses do not need to obtain a new EIN even when the name of the business is changed with the Idaho Secretary of State.
If you need any assistance forming your business or navigating filing requirements with the Idaho Secretary of State or the IRS, please contact our office. Want to talk to one of our attorneys about your business law questions? Contact us here.