If you are starting a new business or thinking about a potential deal that could have a dramatic impact on your existing company, it is critical to choose your partners carefully. Selecting the right partner is especially important if your business is still in its infancy.
Perhaps the best way to think of a business partnership is as similar to marriage: the two of you are uniting your interests and efforts with the idea of building something that will be successful. The comparison to a marriage is even more appropriate when you consider that you will probably be spending more time with your business partner than you do with your spouse. An experienced business lawyer can assist you in selecting the right partner for your new enterprise.
Do You Need a Partner?
The first thing that you should consider when looking for a business partner is whether you even need a partner or not. To determine your needs, you should carefully analyze your business plan, your finances, and the current state of the market. In a partnership, both—or all, as the case may be—partners must take on certain risks and work with very little financial return for a period. Depending on your situation, it may be possible for you to stay in that role by yourself and to hire an employee that you trust but who is not invested financially in the company.
What Will Your Partner Do?
Before you select a partner, you should have a solid idea of what you need from him or her. If you only need capital and investors are not a viable option, you might wish to take on a silent financial partner. Conversely, you might need a great deal of assistance with certain parts of your company. If you have good sales and marketing skills, for example, your business may need someone with a more technical background to focus on product development.
It is also helpful to understand the level of personal investment that you expect from your partner. You may be fine with working 16-hour days, but will you want your partner to do the same? It is patently unfair to surprise your partner with your expectations only after you have signed a partnership agreement. Your attorney can work with you in identifying your needs and expectations for your ideal partner. From there, you can start your search for someone who fits the bill.
Compromise May Be Necessary
While you should develop an idea of what your perfect partner would be, keep in mind that you might never find a person who checks all of the boxes on your list. For example, you might find someone whose skills complement your own almost perfectly but who cannot commit to working long hours every week. In such a case, you might need to compromise on some of your expectations. With the help of your attorney, you can customize the compensation and risk structure of your partnership to account for your compromises.
Call a Wheaton Business Lawyer for Help
If you are considering a new partnership, an experienced DuPage County business law attorney can help you address all of the important details. Call Stock, Carlson, Oldfield & McGrath LLC at 630-665-2500 today for a confidential consultation.