PPP Loans for Partnerships: What You Need to Know

By Owen Yin on June 4, 2020

The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) is designed to support American small businesses with eight weeks of cash support during the COVID-19 pandemic. If you are a partner in a multi-member LLC or partnership, here’s what you need to know about the PPP, and what you’ll need to apply.

For an overview of the Paycheck Protection Program, check out our simple overview guide.

Are partnerships eligible for the PPP?

Yes! The only stipulation is that your business was operational as of February 15, 2020. If you started your business after that date, you will not be eligible for this program.

What if I don’t use a payroll service?

If you’re an owner in a partnership and do not give yourself a salary through a payroll service, you are likely still eligible for the Paycheck Protection Program, as your salary is reported on your Schedule K-1.

What can I spend the funds on?

Just like any other entity type, you will need to spend at least 60% of the funds on payroll costs (maintaining your payroll expenses and headcount for eight weeks), and the remaining 40% on utilities, rent, and mortgage interest.

You will also need to maintain bookkeeping records to prove you spent the funds in the right way, in order to get the loan forgiven.

Further reading: PPP Loan Forgiveness (A Complete Guide)

The documents you’ll need for your application

The lender will want to see all documents related to any wage, commission, income, or net earnings that you or your employees have received. This means that you’ll need to collect any earnings reports, pay stubs, or invoices you have.

Partnerships should be ready to provide:

  • IRS Form 1065 for 2019 (including Schedule K-1s)
  • IRS Form 941 or 944 for 2019 if you have payroll
  • State quarterly wage unemployment insurance tax reports or their equivalent from your payroll processor, if you have payroll
  • Records of any retirement or health insurance contributions
  • An invoice or bank statement showing you were in operation on February 15, 2020
  • A payroll statement or similar documentation showing you had employees on February 15, 2020, if you have payroll

How to calculate your partnership payroll cost

  1. Find each partner’s individual salary. This is taken from line 14a, Self-Employment Income on their 2019 Schedule K-1.

  2. Cap salaries at $100,000 for each member if necessary.

  3. Sum and multiply this amount by 0.9235. This removes the partnership entity’s share of self-employment tax.

  4. Add all gross wages and tips paid to any employees. Include employee contributions for health insurance. Cap the combined total compensation of any individual employee to $100,000 if necessary, and exclude any employees who do not live in the US.

  5. Add 2019 employer contributions for employee health insurance and employee retirement plans (IRS Form 1065 line 18), if applicable

  6. Add 2019 state and local payroll taxes. Federal taxes are excluded.

  7. Divide the total sum by 12. If your business was new, use the number of months your business was in operation for.

Remember, member draws and 1099 contractor costs are not included.

Further reading: How to Calculate Your PPP Loan Amount

How to calculate rent, mortgage, and utilities expense

The Paycheck Protection Program funding can cover your office lease, rent, or mortgage interest, provided that you had it before February 15 2020. If you have a home office, you may be able to claim a portion of the expenses.

However, if you want to have your loan fully forgiven, you’ll need to spend at least 60% of the PPP loan on eligible payroll expenses.

Further reading: PPP Loan Forgiveness: The Complete Guide

How do I apply?

You can apply for the Paycheck Protection Program through an SBA-backed lender. We recommend applying through your own financial institution to start—a lender you already have an existing banking relationship with.

You should submit a single application on behalf of your partnership entity, not separate applications as individuals.

Further reading: PPP Lenders—Where to Get a PPP Loan

Can I apply to the PPP through more than one lender?

Yes! There is no harm in applying through more than one lender. Whoever processes your application first will receive an SBA approval number for your business (if you qualify for the loan). This number is called a PLP. The SBA will only issue one PLP for each Tax ID, meaning there is no chance you will accidentally get approved for two PPP loans.

If you are approved for a PPP loan, your application with the other lenders will eventually be rejected, so it’s best to withdraw your application from the other lenders once you’ve been approved.

So far, there has been no guidance issued by the Treasury or SBA stating that you can only apply through one lender at a time. In fact, lenders are encouraging businesses to apply through multiple lenders, to increase their chances of getting processed in time.


This post is to be used for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal, business, or tax advice. Each person should consult his or her own attorney, business advisor, or tax advisor with respect to matters referenced in this post. Bench assumes no liability for actions taken in reliance upon the information contained herein.

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