A lawyer and a client shaking hands

Choosing the Right Partner for Your Business

The partners you work with can make or break your business. As Forbes says, “Business partnership can bring you triumphant glory or catastrophic disaster.” The right match of a business partner could bring abilities that are not your strengths or infuse capital to allow your company to grow. The whole could truly be greater than the sum of its parts, to borrow a maxim coined by Aristotle.

A South Carolina business formation & planning attorney could guide you through the process of evaluating potential business partners and draw up a partnership agreement that protects you and your company. This blog will explore some methods you could use when choosing the right partner for your business.

Complimentary Traits, Talents, and Skills

Individuals rarely excel at the many and different skills it takes to build and run a business well. You should look for someone who can bring abilities to the table that you do not. For example, if you love working on product development but despise marketing or sales, you should look for someone who is great at marketing and sales rather than teaming up with another product developer.

Someone Who Shares Your Vision for the Growth of Your Company

You might want to grow your company at a steady pace with a moderate budget for marketing. Neither you nor your partner will be happy if their passion is to shoot for the moon and spend a huge amount on marketing.

A Partner with an Exit Strategy

All things, good, bad, or mediocre, come to an end. Let’s say that you want to work in the company for 30 years, and then retire comfortably. Your partner, however, wants to work until they get carried out in a pine box. It is fine for partners to have different exit strategies, but they need to talk about them upfront rather than assuming that the other partner wants the same thing they do.

Another issue you will want to discuss at the beginning is whether both partners agree on what will happen to the business when they leave the company. If you or your partner consider the company to be a family business that should stay in the family until the next ice age, there should be a discussion about that issue early on. One partner might count on selling their interest to fund their retirement.

Someone Who Does Not Have to “Win” in Every Situation

Your partner does not have to be a doormat, but it will be frustrating if they have to win on every issue. Partners, similar to spouses, need to negotiate with each other and have healthy give-and-take without either one dominating the relationship or dictating everything. You and your partner need to treat each other with respect and work out disagreements amicably.

A Partner You Trust and Genuinely Like

A partnership that is not built on trust has quicksand for a foundation. Whether justified or not, when there is mistrust between partners, your partnership could be doomed. 

You do not, however, want to be overly trusting to the extent that you expose yourself or your company to risk from the partner. You should have an ironclad written partnership agreement.

You can talk to a South Carolina business attorney about the right type of partner for your company. Contact our office today for help with your case.