Unlimited Liability Definition

Define Limited Liability in Simple Terms

Unlimited liability is a system that is typically applied to general partnerships in which the involved business owners equally assume the full responsibility of all business debts.

This liability is not capped and may be paid by the seizure of the owner’s personal assets.

It is in contrast to limited liability, in which one or more business partners are only liable for debt up to the amount they invested.

What Does Unlimited Liability Mean In Finance?

Unlimited liabilities are most often formed in countries where laws for companies stems from English law.

These include, but are not limited to, the UK, Germany, France, the Czech Republic, Australia, Ireland, New Zealand, India, and Pakistan.

Despite the number of countries in which they may be formed, unlimited liabilities remain relatively rare due to the burden of debt placed on business owners.

Unlimited Liability Example

Consider an example in which five partners come together and invest $20,000 each into a new jointly owned business.

After the course of one year of operation, they accrue $200,000 in debt.

In an unlimited liability system, each owner would have to come up with $40,000 or else risk having their personal assets seized.

Unlimited Liability Definition FAQs

Unlimited Liability is a system that is typically applied to general partnerships in which the involved business owners equally assume the full responsibility of all business debts.
This liability is not capped and may be paid by the seizure of the owner’s personal assets.
Despite the number of countries in which they may be formed, unlimited liabilities remain relatively rare due to the burden of debt placed on business owners.
Unlimited liabilities are most often formed in countries where laws for companies stems from English law.
Consider an example in which five partners invest $20,000 each into a new jointly-owned business. After the course of one year they accrue $200,000 in debt. In an unlimited liability system, each owner would have to come up with $40,000 or else risk having their personal assets seized.
True Tamplin, BSc, CEPF®

About the Author
True Tamplin, BSc, CEPF®

True Tamplin is a published author, public speaker, CEO of UpDigital, and founder of Finance Strategists.

True contributes to his own finance dictionary, Finance Strategists, and has spoken to various financial communities such as the CFA Institute, as well as university students like his Alma mater, Biola University, where he received a bachelor of science in business and data analytics.

To learn more about True, visit his personal website, view his author profile on Amazon, his interview on CBS, or check out his speaker profile on the CFA Institute website.