The societas provided for an accounting between its business partners, an agency relationship between partners in which individual partners could legally bind the partnership, and individual partner liability for the partnership's debts and obligations.
As the regular English courts gradually recognized the societas, the business form eventually developed into the common-law partnership.
Generally, if a person receives a portion of the profits from a business enterprise, the receipt of the profits is evidence of a partnership.
If, however, a person receives a share of profits as repayment of a debt, wages, rent, or an Annuity, such transactions are considered "protected relationships" and do not lead to a legal inference that a partnership exists.
Family members may also form and operate a partnership, but courts generally look closely at the structure of a family business before recognizing it as a partnership for the benefit of the firm's creditors.