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Object documentation Business Partners  Locate the document in its SAP Library structure


Business partners are legal or natural persons with whom you have a business relationship.


Customers and vendors are business partners with whom you have a relationship involving the transfer of goods and services.


Business partners have a number of different functions, described as partner functions, in connection with your company. You use partner functions to define the rights and responsibilities of each partner type in a business transaction. When you sell or order goods, for example, your business partners can assume partner functions such as:

Customer Partner Functions

Vendor Partner Functions

Sold-to party

Ordering address

Ship-to party

Goods supplier

Bill-to party

Invoice presented by


Alternative payee


Different business partners may carry out one or more partner functions. For this reason, you can assign individual business partners a number of partner functions.

You manage data on business partners in master records. Data on partner functions is stored in these master records and used in Financial Accounting and Logistics.


A business partner can be a customer and a vendor at the same time if, for example, your customer also supplies goods to you or if a vendor is also one of your customers. In this case, you must create a customer master record and a vendor master record for the business partner. You can create a link between the two master records by entering the vendor number in the customer master record and the customer number in the vendor master record.