In a case of first impression, a Norfolk, Virginia Circuit Court held that it could not order the dissolution of a limited partnership formed in another state.
In the matter of Valone v. Valone, the issue before the Court was whether a Virginia court could dissolve a limited partnership (“LP”) that was formed under Georgia law, but listed Norfolk, Virginia as the LP’s primary place of business on annual filings. Based on the evidence before the Court, there was no indication that the LP’s partners or assets were connected with Georgia.
Without the benefit of any legal precedent in Virginia, the Court relied on Virginia’s Revised Uniform Limited Partnership Act (RULPA) to support its ruling. Noting that the RULPA provides that the “circuit court of the locality in which the registered office is located may decree dissolution of a limited partnership,” the Court opined that the General Assembly did not intend for a Virginia court to dissolve an LP that did not have a registered office in Virginia.
I wholeheartedly agree with the Court’s decision. Under Virginia law, it takes more than simply listing a Virginia address on an annual filing to claim a Virginia City or County as a principal place of business. To transact business in Virginia, a foreign LP (i.e., an LP that is not formed in Virginia), must: 1) file an Application for a Certificate of Registration to Transact Business in Virginia with the State Corporation Commission; 2) pay the requisite filing fee; and, 3) pay an annual registration fee.
This case highlights an important consideration for all foreign businesses in Virginia (regardless of whether the business is a corporation, a limited liability company, or an LP) -- if a foreign business wants to avail itself of the protections and rights afforded to a Virginia business, then it must be properly registered to transact business in Virginia.