Tag: Partner

How to Start a Business with a Partner – Small Business #memphis #business #journal

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How to Start a Business with a Partner

Tips

  • Get to know your potential partner and learn about his or her personal and professional values, ideas and goals.
  • Consult a lawyer and an accountant to draw up a written partnership agreement.
  • Spell out an exit plan for you and the business.
  • Related How-Tos

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    Business partners often start businesses together with little planning and few ground rules. Sooner or later, they discover the hard way that what s left unsaid or unplanned often leads to unmet expectations, anger and frustration. Partners can clash over countless things, including conflicting work ethics and financial goals, roles in the business and leadership styles. What follows is a primer on how to avoid that and set up and sustain a business partnership.

    First, ask yourself: Do I really need a business partner to build a successful company? Taking on business partners should be reserved for when a partnership is critical to success say, when the prospective partner has financial resources, connections or vital skills you lack. You may be better off hiring the other person as an employee or an independent contractor.

    Communication is important at every stage of a partnership, and especially so at the outset. A common mistake business partners make is jumping into business before really getting to know each other. You must be able to connect to feel comfortable expressing your opinions, ideas and expectations.

    If you haven t worked together previously, test the partnership out by tackling a small project together that showcases each other s skills and requires cooperation. This is also a way to learn about each other s personality and core values.

    Ideally partners professional skills should complement one another, but not overlap too much. For example, you may be detail oriented and your partner may be a big-picture thinker. Or you may be an expert in marketing and sales, while your partner prefers to stay in the backdrop poring over financials.

    To gauge how well you might work together, have a chat with each other s colleagues and family members. Key questions to answer include:

    • Do you and your partner share personal and professional values, ideas and goals?
    • Do you trust your partner s motivations and character?
    • In what areas of everyday life and business do you agree?

    Other points to consider:

    • What if a spouse or kid later wants to join the business?
    • How will it be handled if one partner acts unethically?
    • What if one partner wants to move out of the country?

    Potential partners may want to consider taking a two- or three-day retreat together to go over their individual expectations for the business and partnership, one by one, and compare notes. It can help the conversation to have the partners guess each other s expectations before revealing them to each other.

    Be especially careful when partnering with close friends or family members. Like many marriages, business partnerships can end in bitter divorce. Consider whether you re willing to risk hurting your relationship if the partnership falls apart.

    Approach a partnership with close friends or family as you might with strangers: Thoughtfully plan and prepare for every aspect of it in advance so there s no question about how difficult situations will be handled.

    A note about partnering with a spouse: Working together puts an added strain on a relationship, and couples can quickly discover there is a little too much togetherness. Those who succeed often have learned to set boundaries keep the business from dominating every aspect of their lives. For example, they may have agreed to leave the office at 5 p.m. and put all conversation about work on hold until after the kids are in bed.

    Once the decision is made to start a business together, you should create a partnership agreement with help from a lawyer and an accountant. Take this step no matter who your partner is. People with strong personal connections may feel certain that their supposedly unbreakable bond will help them overcome any obstacles along the way. Big mistake. Get a written agreement.

    Every agreement should address three crucial areas: compensation, exit clauses, and roles and responsibilities. Include who owns what percentage of the business, who is investing what, where the money is coming from, and how and when partners will be paid.

    Typically partners set up equal ownership and each contributes 50% of the initial investment. But terms can vary greatly. For instance, one partner might contribute more money if the other partner can bring in expertise or business contacts. As the business grows and changes, adjust compensation accordingly. For example, partners may agree to work initially without compensation, and to get paid after a certain revenue target is reached. In addition, if the business partnership brings on more people or if a particular partner is putting in more or less time, building some flexibility into the contract can let you adjust payments.

    The agreement should also cover how you plan to exit the business. Include clauses that spell out cases in which one partner is obliged to buy out the other s interest for instance, if one wants to quit the business. For instance, it can state that the other partner must buy him or her out for a prenegotiated percentage of the business s value.

    If neither partner wants to continue the business, partners can also liquidate and divide all assets. It s also a good idea to settle on in advance how to assess the total value of the business upon dissolution. The agreement should specify who appraises the business and the methodology to use.

    Outline your expectations for how you ll operate your business. Clearly delineate the roles and responsibilities of the partners based on their skills and desires. This will eliminate turf wars and clearly show employees to whom they should report.

    Establish routines for daily communication. For example, agree to talk twice a day at designated times and to re-evaluate their goals on a regular basis. At least once a quarter, sit down and discuss how you envision the future of the business and what steps to take in getting there.

    Addressing these issues up front will help you better focus on your business later. How you work out the details of setting up a partnership could be an indicator of how well or poorly your prospective venture will operate. Inevitably, some potential partners will realize through the process they weren t meant to be.

    Related WSJ Articles and Blog Posts:

    Online Tools:

    • Sample Partnership Agreement — A sample document of how to structure your partnership agreement, from Small Business Notes, a small-business resources and information provider.
    • Corporate Buy-Sell Agreement — An example contract that spells out how stock can be sold or transferred, from software maker Jian.

Additional Resources:

  • Creating a Partnership Agreement — A list of subjects to discuss with your partner when structuring a partnership agreement, from Nolo, a publisher of legal information for consumers and small businesses.
  • Plan Ahead for Changes in Partnership Ownership — A briefing on buyout agreements for planning what will happen when a partner leaves the business, from Nolo, a publisher of legal information for consumers and small businesses.
  • Plan Now to Preserve Your Partnership — A look at what you need to plan beforehand to keep your partnership successful, from Score, a nonprofit for entrepreneurship education.
  • Chart: Ways to Organize Your Business — A chart of ways to organize your business, from Nolo, a publisher of legal information for consumers and small businesses.




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10 Questions to Ask Before Committing to a Business Partner #work #from #home #business

#business partner

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10 Questions to Ask Before Committing to a Business Partner

Like a marriage, a business partnership often begins with enthusiasm and high expectations — only to end in acrimony and legal proceedings. It s important to know as much as possible about a potential partner, including how his or her finances and family life may affect the business, before signing on the dotted line.

Here are some questions to ask before deciding if partnering is a good idea:

1. What do I need from a business partner?
You should look for a business partner who brings something different to the table than you do. If you re creative, maybe you need a more detail-oriented partner. If you have money to invest in the business, you may want to look for a partner with access to a market, or with great connections. Or if you re shy, you might need a good people person to balance the equation. If they re similar to you, it might be more comfortable, but it may not be what you need, says William M. Moore, founder of the Moore Firm in San Diego, a law firm that serves entrepreneurs. You need someone who complements your skills and personality.

2. What is your potential partner s financial situation?
It is important to have an understanding of someone s financial status and commitments before getting into a venture together. It is tough to ask what they are currently spending on a house or in payments to an ex-spouse, but someone s prior financial commitments shape the decisions they will make in the short term, says Gregory Kratofil, an attorney and shareholder with the law firm Polsinelli Shughart in Kansas City, Mo. who specializes in small business interests. If he has large outstanding obligations, but says he can get by on $35,000 salary, it is a red flag.

3. What are the potential partner s expectations on the time involved?
Partners don t have to spend the same amount of time, but it is important that they are on the same page as to each other s expected time commitments. How many hours a day does your partner expect to put into the venture, and do his expectations meet yours? It is equally important to level set your partner s expectations on your time commitments, Kratofil says. The age old adage that it s better to under-promise and over-deliver applies here.

4. Is your potential partner s commitment to the business as strong as yours?
I don t care if it s a coffee house or a design firm, the business partner s commitment has to equal yours, says Bob Phibbs, consultant and CEO of The Retail Doctor. a site that provides information to small and medium-sized businesses. A partnership — especially one between friends — can start off with fun and excitement, but within a short time, the slog of every day catches up with you. If they re not as committed to the business as you, they may lose their enthusiasm and may actually be damaging the brand every time you open your doors.

5. Is there something in your potential partner s family life that might make the business a secondary interest?
If your potential partner has a pregnant wife or is taking care of an elderly parent, he may be distracted from the business. That s why you have to be brutally honest when thinking of forming a partnership. The partner can say, My wife is behind me 100 percent. But I want to talk to the wife, Phibbs says. If they re too distracted by a family issue or their family isn t behind them, the business may be doomed from the start.

6. How would he or she handle a tough situation?
It s important to know what your potential business partner will do if he has his back up against the wall — and it will happen, Phibbs says. The best way to discover this is to look at what he s done in past business ventures. If he couldn t meet payroll, for example: Did he do the right thing and dip into savings or borrow from a credit card or a friend? Or did he pay employees late, or not at all? Or worse, did he skip paying payroll taxes? It all comes down to character issue, Phibbs says, adding, Payroll taxes are a federal obligation. If that s negotiable, you can bet your partnership is also negotiable.

7. What questions do they have for me?
If a potential employee doesn t ask any questions in a job interview, you might be less likely to hire him because of a perceived lack of interest. The same applies to a potential business partner, who should want to know about your character, reliability and expectations. I want them to ask me the same tough questions I ask them. If they say it doesn t really matter, it could mean two things: their expectations are too high or they might be kind of flighty, Phibbs says. Things may be fine now, but in a month or two, they may want to change things or even get out of the deal.

8. What is the potential partner s standing in the community?
A lot of people seem good at first, but that may be their skill — seeming good at first, Moore says. Once they get their foot in the door, it may be difficult to get them out. Talk to former employees to see what they were like to work with, or for. If you re looking for someone with money connections, verify that they have money. If they say they have great connections, see if those connections go beyond just being recognized and given a slap on the back. A business partnership is not a marriage, but there should be some sort of courtship process that you can verify that they are who they say they are, Moore says.

9. Are they willing to put everything in writing?
Many partnerships are cemented with a handshake, but this can be a recipe for disaster. It s crucial to put it on paper — not only what is expected of each partner, but the consequences if expectations aren t met. There s something about actually putting it in writing that exposes the potential problem areas in the partnership, Moore says. If someone has a family emergency and disappears the first six months of the business — even though it may not be through any fault of his own — are you still expected to give that person a certain percentage of the business? If someone simply isn t pulling his or her weight, you need to be able to get them out without destroying the business, he adds. And if it s in writing, there s no arguing it.

10. Do I really need a partner?
If you can get someone to do something without giving them a stake in your business, it s always better, Moore says. People get wrapped up in the idea of needing to work with someone, but it s not always a good idea. Sometimes you need somebody to show up from 9-5, work hard and go home, he says, adding. If you re cash poor, or it s a startup and you don t expect to make money right away, taking on a partner might be the better option. But if you can just pay somebody to show up and work, it s generally a better option than giving them a stake in the company.

And now a bonus question.

What happens if we can t work it out?
Most people don t envision the rough times ahead for a new venture, so this question is probably the hardest to remember to ask and the beginning. Yet, the best time to address potential problems with your partner is at the beginning before emotions run high. You can t predict every potential problem, but a good startup lawyer can help you work through some of the common problems and put a framework in place to help address unforeseen circumstances, Kratofil says.





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Company Partners – find business angels, business angel investment, business partner, business funding and

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10 Questions to Ask Before Committing to a Business Partner #penny #stocks

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10 Questions to Ask Before Committing to a Business Partner

Like a marriage, a business partnership often begins with enthusiasm and high expectations — only to end in acrimony and legal proceedings. It s important to know as much as possible about a potential partner, including how his or her finances and family life may affect the business, before signing on the dotted line.

Here are some questions to ask before deciding if partnering is a good idea:

1. What do I need from a business partner?
You should look for a business partner who brings something different to the table than you do. If you re creative, maybe you need a more detail-oriented partner. If you have money to invest in the business, you may want to look for a partner with access to a market, or with great connections. Or if you re shy, you might need a good people person to balance the equation. If they re similar to you, it might be more comfortable, but it may not be what you need, says William M. Moore, founder of the Moore Firm in San Diego, a law firm that serves entrepreneurs. You need someone who complements your skills and personality.

2. What is your potential partner s financial situation?
It is important to have an understanding of someone s financial status and commitments before getting into a venture together. It is tough to ask what they are currently spending on a house or in payments to an ex-spouse, but someone s prior financial commitments shape the decisions they will make in the short term, says Gregory Kratofil, an attorney and shareholder with the law firm Polsinelli Shughart in Kansas City, Mo. who specializes in small business interests. If he has large outstanding obligations, but says he can get by on $35,000 salary, it is a red flag.

3. What are the potential partner s expectations on the time involved?
Partners don t have to spend the same amount of time, but it is important that they are on the same page as to each other s expected time commitments. How many hours a day does your partner expect to put into the venture, and do his expectations meet yours? It is equally important to level set your partner s expectations on your time commitments, Kratofil says. The age old adage that it s better to under-promise and over-deliver applies here.

4. Is your potential partner s commitment to the business as strong as yours?
I don t care if it s a coffee house or a design firm, the business partner s commitment has to equal yours, says Bob Phibbs, consultant and CEO of The Retail Doctor. a site that provides information to small and medium-sized businesses. A partnership — especially one between friends — can start off with fun and excitement, but within a short time, the slog of every day catches up with you. If they re not as committed to the business as you, they may lose their enthusiasm and may actually be damaging the brand every time you open your doors.

5. Is there something in your potential partner s family life that might make the business a secondary interest?
If your potential partner has a pregnant wife or is taking care of an elderly parent, he may be distracted from the business. That s why you have to be brutally honest when thinking of forming a partnership. The partner can say, My wife is behind me 100 percent. But I want to talk to the wife, Phibbs says. If they re too distracted by a family issue or their family isn t behind them, the business may be doomed from the start.

6. How would he or she handle a tough situation?
It s important to know what your potential business partner will do if he has his back up against the wall — and it will happen, Phibbs says. The best way to discover this is to look at what he s done in past business ventures. If he couldn t meet payroll, for example: Did he do the right thing and dip into savings or borrow from a credit card or a friend? Or did he pay employees late, or not at all? Or worse, did he skip paying payroll taxes? It all comes down to character issue, Phibbs says, adding, Payroll taxes are a federal obligation. If that s negotiable, you can bet your partnership is also negotiable.

7. What questions do they have for me?
If a potential employee doesn t ask any questions in a job interview, you might be less likely to hire him because of a perceived lack of interest. The same applies to a potential business partner, who should want to know about your character, reliability and expectations. I want them to ask me the same tough questions I ask them. If they say it doesn t really matter, it could mean two things: their expectations are too high or they might be kind of flighty, Phibbs says. Things may be fine now, but in a month or two, they may want to change things or even get out of the deal.

8. What is the potential partner s standing in the community?
A lot of people seem good at first, but that may be their skill — seeming good at first, Moore says. Once they get their foot in the door, it may be difficult to get them out. Talk to former employees to see what they were like to work with, or for. If you re looking for someone with money connections, verify that they have money. If they say they have great connections, see if those connections go beyond just being recognized and given a slap on the back. A business partnership is not a marriage, but there should be some sort of courtship process that you can verify that they are who they say they are, Moore says.

9. Are they willing to put everything in writing?
Many partnerships are cemented with a handshake, but this can be a recipe for disaster. It s crucial to put it on paper — not only what is expected of each partner, but the consequences if expectations aren t met. There s something about actually putting it in writing that exposes the potential problem areas in the partnership, Moore says. If someone has a family emergency and disappears the first six months of the business — even though it may not be through any fault of his own — are you still expected to give that person a certain percentage of the business? If someone simply isn t pulling his or her weight, you need to be able to get them out without destroying the business, he adds. And if it s in writing, there s no arguing it.

10. Do I really need a partner?
If you can get someone to do something without giving them a stake in your business, it s always better, Moore says. People get wrapped up in the idea of needing to work with someone, but it s not always a good idea. Sometimes you need somebody to show up from 9-5, work hard and go home, he says, adding. If you re cash poor, or it s a startup and you don t expect to make money right away, taking on a partner might be the better option. But if you can just pay somebody to show up and work, it s generally a better option than giving them a stake in the company.

And now a bonus question.

What happens if we can t work it out?
Most people don t envision the rough times ahead for a new venture, so this question is probably the hardest to remember to ask and the beginning. Yet, the best time to address potential problems with your partner is at the beginning before emotions run high. You can t predict every potential problem, but a good startup lawyer can help you work through some of the common problems and put a framework in place to help address unforeseen circumstances, Kratofil says.





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How to Find the Right Business Partner for Your Startup #business #printing

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How to Find the Right Business Partner for Your Startup

Starting a business is notoriously difficult, and going it alone can make those challenges even harder to overcome. That s why many entrepreneurs choose to launch their company with one or more business partners who can help lighten the load.

Finding good business partners is critical to success, said Sherry Fox, co-founder and chairman of LumiWave. There are many different types of partners, from someone who works with you side by side to build your business, to individuals or companies who contribute in specific areas, such as marketing, engineering, etc. Every person or entity that interacts with your business is a partner in some way and affects your ability to succeed.

I believe there is strength in numbers, added Carlo Ruggiero, co-founder of the U.S. branch of European pizza franchise Kono Pizza. When multiple partners share the same vision, the result is a stronger and more unified team.

But you can t just choose anyone to be your partner; you need to be able to work with that person day in, day out, and both of you must be able to focus on the business s objectives.

Sabrina Parsons, CEO of Palo Alto Software. likened a business partnership to a marriage. Your partner is such an important piece of [your] success, and many times, bad partnerships lead to bad business, she said.

If you need a partner but aren t sure where to start, here s how to find, evaluate and work with a prospective business partner. [See Related Story:Choosing a Business Partner? 4 Qualities to Look For]

Look to your network first

Our expert sources agreed that an entrepreneur s connections are the best candidates for potential business partners.

Reaching out to your professional network can provide a rich list, said Jon Weston, CEO of LumiWave and Fox s business partner. I ve received good information and direction from the diaspora of my [previous] companies. General networks or online community groups are too anonymous to find good feedback.

Referrals from trusted colleagues also can be helpful, Fox added. However, Weston cautioned that you should gauge the person making the referral before considering his or her recommendation.

Evaluating a business partner

Once you ve found someone who could be a great potential business partner, how do you evaluate whether that person is truly the right fit? One of your first considerations should be how your personalities, backgrounds, values and experiences complement each other.

While you want a partner that will work well with your culture and style, you don t want a clone, either you want a partner who can fill in the gaps, Weston said. That is the tension you need to look for.

Similarly, Ruggiero said he and his co-founders, David Ragosa and Greg Kinlaw, needed the right combination of personalities and skills to succeed.

[Our] differences allow us to approach each situation in multiple ways, he told Business News Daily. David and I are the go-getters. Greg provides a great balance he is an expert at taking our crazy ideas and making sure we have the numbers to back them. We are constantly learning from each other and are able to use these exchanges to positively influence our business.

However, getting along well isn t enough to ensure a successful partnership. No matter how well you know your potential partner, you re still running a business and thus need to take the appropriate precautions to ensure that any partnership is a smart decision. Weston noted that thoroughly researching your partner is an important part of this process.

Do your due diligence, Weston said. You can do a lot [by] just Googling. Most people and organizations leave a digital trail. Dive into the legal databases. Ask for references, but also research any clients they have worked with or been associated with, and contact them.

Fox agreed, noting that you should vet a partner carefully with all sources available, such as LinkedIn, company websites and former partners. Parsons also advised formally interviewing a prospective partner to better understand his or her skill set.

Finally, before you sign any legal agreements, you must understand how you and your partner will handle a variety of business situations. This is something to discuss at length during your evaluation phase.

Make very clear [written] agreements that take into consideration what happens when things go well and when things go poorly, Parsons said.

Talk openly and frankly about who you are and what you want, Fox added. Spend significant time exchanging ideas and concepts, [and] understand their. short-term and long-term [goals]. Do you agree on the end game?

Making a partnership work

Think you ve found the perfect business partner? Based on their experiences, our sources offered a few pieces of advice for a fruitful and productive partnership.

Define your respective roles. Clearly defining your roles within the company ensures that each partner s time is spent effectively, Ruggiero said. This will prevent partners from stepping on each other s toes and will ultimately save the company money.

Measure your success. Fox recommended that potential business partners work together on a trial basis to test out how well the partnership might work.Set up some parameters and milestones, and make sure what you thought about the potential partner is reality, she said. From there, conduct frequent reviews to make sure you are still on the same page.

Communication is key. Constant honest and open communication is a must. When problems arise, they need to be solved by both (or all) business partners. Ruggiero reminded entrepreneurs that at some point, each partner will make a mistake, and you cannot be afraid to bring it up. Each partner needs to do what s best for the business, he said, and part of doing this is eliminating any negative emotions to avoid a dispute if someone points out a mistake.

Trust your gut. If something doesn t feel right, it probably isn t. Weston recalled little red flags that popped up in conversations with potential partners.

Some things don t quite mesh or add up in the back of your mind. Trust this, he said. It is easier to walk away and be picky than pick up the pieces later.

Some source interviews were conducted for a previous version of this article.

Nicole Fallon Taylor

Nicole received her Bachelor s degree in Media, Culture and Communication from New York University. She began freelancing for Business News Daily in 2010 and joined the team as a staff writer three years later. She currently serves as the managing editor. Reach her by email. or follow her on Twitter .

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  • Allurentertainment Event Planning Business Partner wanted #business #startup #ideas

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    Event Planning Business Partner wanted

    Описание компании

    A small business event planning company located in the Bronx is currently seeking partnership to help support all aspects of starting up the business and take part in all aspects of decision making.

    Описание вакансии

    PLEASE READ CAREFULLY BEFORE APPLYING:

    This is ideal work experience event planner or for a student studying Hospitality, Marketing or Event Planning looking to get into and start up a event planning business.

    Please understand that there is no weekly pay nor any upfront financial investment needed, I am seeking a business partner with an entrepreneurial spirit with equal passion for planning events and business management. Compensation will be based on flat commission.

    As you can Imagine starting your own business and all the funds needed to blossom, I am not asking for any $$ but I do need someone with a business state of mind that has that creative edge to get this business on the right track. ENTREPRENEUR PREFERRED.

    Требования к квалификации

    • Ability to handle new Contracts/ Negotiation
    • capable of hiring/screening new interns/volunteers and generating suitable compensation/company perks
    • Hard working, extremely organized, outgoing, familiar with Bronx, Lives in New York City, NY *Great at surfing the web to find info
    • Must be able to attend weekly staff meetings
    • Must be able to work independently and be capable of dealing with a variety of people from event vendors
    • Helping us build our database of local event/wedding planners, location scouts photo and film industry contacts, etc.
    • Fielding calls and email requests for space rental and availability
    • Participating in open house events
    • Helping us build our database of local event/wedding planners, location scouts photo and film industry contacts, etc.
    • Researching local vendor partnerships and media opportunities

    Дополнительная информация

    Please understand that there is no weekly pay nor any upfront financial investment needed, I am seeking a business partner with an entrepreneurial spirit with equal passion for planning events and business management. Compensation will be based on flat commission.

    BASED IN THE BRONX, NY so traveling is a must!





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    5 Things to Do Before Saying I Do to a Business Partner #stock #market

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    5 Things to Do Before Saying ‘I Do’ to a Business Partner

    CEO Founder, Deborah Mitchell Media Associates

    September 24, 2014

    As an entrepreneur, you may at some point consider getting a business partner or co-founder. Maybe you miss working with a larger team that complements your skills, or perhaps you are trying to broaden your market or expand your clientele. Whatever your motive, you should know that business partnerships always start with excitement, but have the potential to end tumultuously. When forming a business partnership — just like a marriage — there are certain key steps to take at the beginning that will help in the transition if your professional relationship should end.

    1. Perform due diligence. Yes, everyone is fun over cocktails, but when the time comes to sign contracts and do business, you d better be sober and confident you re shaking the right hand. Asking for referrals about a potential partner goes beyond contacting common friends and asking their opinions. Call former partners and business associates, inquire with clients, read comments on their social media pages and look them up on Google. (Keep reading way past page one of the search results.)

    By the time you re done, you should be able to name anyone who dislikes them — from their first high-school enemy to their latest unhappy client. Only then will you be able to either take a calculated risk or a major step back.

    2. Make sure you lawyer up. If the legal fees in the beginning of a business relationship don t make you wince, then you re doing something wrong. When you partner with other people, every aspect of the business relationship should be put down in writing — including the goals for the company, duties and responsibilities of the partners and an exit strategy. Every sentence of a contract — no matter how innocuous — should be looked at by a lawyer. Since tax laws can be tricky, have your accounts receivable/payable arrangements scrutinized by an accountant.

    3. Ensure you have exit strategy. Ending your business partnership is the last thing you want to think about when you are beginning one. It is similar to thinking about divorce on your wedding day, but you should have a plan. The business exit strategy should include several legal points including the division of the business assets and how the partner s portion of the business will be handled in case of death.

    4. Protect yourself. One of the smartest moves you can make is to protect your personal assets in case of a lawsuit. Whether you choose to incorporate or become an LLC, the top benefit will be shielding your savings, home, car and even your favorite pair of Louboutins from any liabilities associated with the business.

    5. Protect your brand. Joining forces with a partner takes a lot of energy, and chances are that somewhere down the line you will lose your focus. Working for a common goal within a new team is really exciting but merging forces does not necessarily mean merging identities. Don t lose sight of who you are. If part of the original business plan is to maintain your brand, make sure it doesn t suffer while you re giving all your time and energy to your new endeavor.

    When you meet a potential partner, your personalities may click and your goals may be identical but to have a successful relationship, clarity is key. The more precautions you take in the beginning, the happier and more productive you will be later on. And the day you see that the team you ve tried to build has become nothing more that a group of people looking in different directions, then it s time to part ways and move on.





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    What is business partner? definition and meaning #sba #loan #rates

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    business partner

    An individual or company who has some degree of involvement with another entity’s business dealings. The term ‘business partner’ can have a wide range of meanings, with one of the most frequent being a person who, along with another person, plays a significant role in owning, managing, or creating a company (two best friends who start a business together would consider themselves business partners). The term is also frequently used for two businesses that cooperate, to any degree, such as a computer manufacturer who works exclusively with another company who supplies them with parts.

    • I thought they were a really great business partner and would be with us for a long time to come and would work greatly next to us.
    • Since I am out of town this week I will call my business partner and let her know to be expecting a package to arrive at the bakery on Tuesday.
    • Having someone else to start a business with me will mean that as a business partner that I will not need to make major decisions alone.

    The best of BusinessDictionary, delivered daily!





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    How to Find the Right Business Partner for Your Startup #sba #financing

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    How to Find the Right Business Partner for Your Startup

    Starting a business is notoriously difficult, and going it alone can make those challenges even harder to overcome. That s why many entrepreneurs choose to launch their company with one or more business partners who can help lighten the load.

    Finding good business partners is critical to success, said Sherry Fox, co-founder and chairman of LumiWave. There are many different types of partners, from someone who works with you side by side to build your business, to individuals or companies who contribute in specific areas, such as marketing, engineering, etc. Every person or entity that interacts with your business is a partner in some way and affects your ability to succeed.

    I believe there is strength in numbers, added Carlo Ruggiero, co-founder of the U.S. branch of European pizza franchise Kono Pizza. When multiple partners share the same vision, the result is a stronger and more unified team.

    But you can t just choose anyone to be your partner; you need to be able to work with that person day in, day out, and both of you must be able to focus on the business s objectives.

    Sabrina Parsons, CEO of Palo Alto Software. likened a business partnership to a marriage. Your partner is such an important piece of [your] success, and many times, bad partnerships lead to bad business, she said.

    If you need a partner but aren t sure where to start, here s how to find, evaluate and work with a prospective business partner. [See Related Story:Choosing a Business Partner? 4 Qualities to Look For]

    Look to your network first

    Our expert sources agreed that an entrepreneur s connections are the best candidates for potential business partners.

    Reaching out to your professional network can provide a rich list, said Jon Weston, CEO of LumiWave and Fox s business partner. I ve received good information and direction from the diaspora of my [previous] companies. General networks or online community groups are too anonymous to find good feedback.

    Referrals from trusted colleagues also can be helpful, Fox added. However, Weston cautioned that you should gauge the person making the referral before considering his or her recommendation.

    Evaluating a business partner

    Once you ve found someone who could be a great potential business partner, how do you evaluate whether that person is truly the right fit? One of your first considerations should be how your personalities, backgrounds, values and experiences complement each other.

    While you want a partner that will work well with your culture and style, you don t want a clone, either you want a partner who can fill in the gaps, Weston said. That is the tension you need to look for.

    Similarly, Ruggiero said he and his co-founders, David Ragosa and Greg Kinlaw, needed the right combination of personalities and skills to succeed.

    [Our] differences allow us to approach each situation in multiple ways, he told Business News Daily. David and I are the go-getters. Greg provides a great balance he is an expert at taking our crazy ideas and making sure we have the numbers to back them. We are constantly learning from each other and are able to use these exchanges to positively influence our business.

    However, getting along well isn t enough to ensure a successful partnership. No matter how well you know your potential partner, you re still running a business and thus need to take the appropriate precautions to ensure that any partnership is a smart decision. Weston noted that thoroughly researching your partner is an important part of this process.

    Do your due diligence, Weston said. You can do a lot [by] just Googling. Most people and organizations leave a digital trail. Dive into the legal databases. Ask for references, but also research any clients they have worked with or been associated with, and contact them.

    Fox agreed, noting that you should vet a partner carefully with all sources available, such as LinkedIn, company websites and former partners. Parsons also advised formally interviewing a prospective partner to better understand his or her skill set.

    Finally, before you sign any legal agreements, you must understand how you and your partner will handle a variety of business situations. This is something to discuss at length during your evaluation phase.

    Make very clear [written] agreements that take into consideration what happens when things go well and when things go poorly, Parsons said.

    Talk openly and frankly about who you are and what you want, Fox added. Spend significant time exchanging ideas and concepts, [and] understand their. short-term and long-term [goals]. Do you agree on the end game?

    Making a partnership work

    Think you ve found the perfect business partner? Based on their experiences, our sources offered a few pieces of advice for a fruitful and productive partnership.

    Define your respective roles. Clearly defining your roles within the company ensures that each partner s time is spent effectively, Ruggiero said. This will prevent partners from stepping on each other s toes and will ultimately save the company money.

    Measure your success. Fox recommended that potential business partners work together on a trial basis to test out how well the partnership might work.Set up some parameters and milestones, and make sure what you thought about the potential partner is reality, she said. From there, conduct frequent reviews to make sure you are still on the same page.

    Communication is key. Constant honest and open communication is a must. When problems arise, they need to be solved by both (or all) business partners. Ruggiero reminded entrepreneurs that at some point, each partner will make a mistake, and you cannot be afraid to bring it up. Each partner needs to do what s best for the business, he said, and part of doing this is eliminating any negative emotions to avoid a dispute if someone points out a mistake.

    Trust your gut. If something doesn t feel right, it probably isn t. Weston recalled little red flags that popped up in conversations with potential partners.

    Some things don t quite mesh or add up in the back of your mind. Trust this, he said. It is easier to walk away and be picky than pick up the pieces later.

    Some source interviews were conducted for a previous version of this article.

    Nicole Fallon Taylor

    Nicole received her Bachelor s degree in Media, Culture and Communication from New York University. She began freelancing for Business News Daily in 2010 and joined the team as a staff writer three years later. She currently serves as the managing editor. Reach her by email. or follow her on Twitter .

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