There are more than a few things to consider if you’re thinking of entering into a business partnership. First of all ask yourself if you really need to do it. In other words, what can another person bring to the table? If you need additional start-up money for instance, or if your prospective partner has connections to people who are likely to become good clients, a partnership may be the answer for you. Another factor for the plus side are any special skills or artistic talents that would definitely be an asset for your particular type of business.
Knowing your partner on a personal basis before you start the business relationship is always an advantage. Communication is key! You don’t want to be hesitant about expressing your opinions or suggestions and you will feel more comfortable doing so if you are fairly sure of a positive reaction.
Get you priorities straight. Opposite personalities can work well in some business partnerships. The more outgoing one of you can handle the sales end of things while the math wizard takes care of the books. However you work it out, you should decide who is in charge of what and put it writing.
There are two basic kinds of business partnerships. The more common one is the general partnership in which all the colleagues are “hands on” when it comes to management. Before you decide to be a part of this kind of arrangement, you should know about the risks that could be involved.
In a general partnership all the associates are personally obligated to cover any debts incurred by the business. If the business should fall short financially you as one of the partners may be at risk of losing your own money to pay off creditors. You will also be liable for any contractual agreements that another partner may sign off on – one more reason to keep those lines of communication open.