Joint ventures and partnerships sound similar, but in fact each has a very different legal structure.
The goal is often the same, two (or more) parties come together to agree terms on how they will work together. They may call their relationship a ‘partnership’, but in fact it may not be a true ‘partnership’ at all.
In fact, in many cases its better that the legal structure created is not a partnership. Partners, generally speaking, share all profits and losses. The assets they bring into the partnership become partnership property and partnership law will imply all sorts of unexpected terms.
Often, a more correct structure for the ‘partnership arrangements’ would be to form a company, and to give each of the partners a share in the company. In that case, the parties would need to create a ‘Shareholder Agreement’ which would then set out their respective rights and obligations.
Alternatively, if a single-company structure is not appropriate, the two partners can remain independent, and create a ‘Joint Venture Agreement’ which can carefully document the terms agreed between the parties, without the agreement being considered a ‘legal partnership’ (with all the associated problems that can bring – see above).