Program Operations Manual System (POMS)
RS 01802.318 Joining Together — Operating Policy
Requisite intent is to jointly operate a business. While in most cases there is conscious
intent to form a partnership, such intent is not essential. When the partners are
husband and wife, siblings, parent and child, or otherwise closely related, it may
be found that they never saw the need to formally establish a second relationship.
Many would assert that there was no “legal partnership” out of a vague (and usually unfounded) belief that State law requires compliance
with various formalities. Thus, there must be an intent to jointly operate a business,
but there need not be conscious recognition of the relationship as a partnership.
The parties to an arrangement may call it anything they wish, but if SSA concludes
it is a partnership, it will be treated as such.
“Good faith” of the parties may be assumed unless there is positive evidence that one or both
did not act in good faith.