Putting two heads together into a partnership is a great way to start a business. While your partner is focused on the operations side, you may be focused on the sales, thereby forming the complete picture of a successful company. However, even if you start your business with your best friend, partnerships can and do go awry. The best way to ensure a successful partnership is to ask each other a couple questions before you begin. The ten questions provided below are by no means the end all be all of questions. However, they will help you think through some of the most common snags that a partnership may face. Furthermore, these questions and answers will allow you to prepare for the drafting of the Operating Agreement or Bylaws, which will commemorate your partnership and will provide answers for the toughest of questions, such as how a partner can dissociate or how to add a new partner. Here are some questions to help you determine whether this is the right partnership for you:
Questions to ask prior to
forming a partnership:
- Why do you want to start this business with me?
- What do you expect from this partnership?
- What tasks do you like to do and expect to do?
- What tasks do you expect me to do?
- What is your exit strategy?
- Do you plan to contribute money if we need it?
- How do you usually solve disagreements?
- Have you ever started a business with a partner before? If so, what happened?
- Is there anything in your life that would hinder your commitment to this partnership?
- Do you accept your failures as your fault or are they usually caused by others or circumstances beyond your control?
These questions will help you gauge how your partner may react to different situations or what he or she expects from the partnership and from you. Once you feel confident and are ready to proceed, check out our page on Business Formations to proceed to the next step.