Today the goal of many physicists, whether working with what are some of the largest machines ever built such as the newly christened Large Hadron Collider or with the rather more simple chalk and blackboard, is to develop a single unified theory that will explain the characteristics of the most elemental particles and integrating the four elemental forces, bringing together Heisenberg’s Quantum Theory and Einstein’s General Relativity. The law of business organizations lacks a similar goal of unification. Rather, we find ourselves continuously mixing, sometimes matching and sometimes not, aspects of business entity law, adding or removing features to various forms of organization without the benefit of a conceptual framework as to whether, across the range of business organization forms, we have made or are making progress. Now the question of “progress” must be distinguished from “motion,” and I submit that it, at a minimum, needs to be debated whether the mixing and recombination of features has been motion without a preconceived determination of what will be progress.
Much is made when discussing the limited liability company (the LLC), the modern partnership, and the limited partnership, the latter two being business forms driven into existence by the need to maintain relevance in a world now containing the LLC, of certain immutable characteristics of unincorporated business organizations. As a result of its being an unincorporated business organization, “an LLC must have this characteristic or that characteristic” has been oft uttered as a guiding principle. But what justification exists for the admonition made that this or that characteristic “must” be present in order that the LLC (or partnership or limited partnership) may be an unincorporated” business organization? In fact it has been all too little, if any. . . .