George and Mary-Lynn

Should You Go Into Business with a Friend?

By Bigg Success Staff
06-19-08

Bigg Success in Business

friends

You have an idea for a business. You’re excited. But you need help – help to get the work done, help to finance the business, help with any number of things.

You tell your friend about your business and she gets all excited too. She wants to help. She wants to be your partner.

Fantastic!

Or maybe not …

It’s often true that friends who go into business together don’t remain friends. And they don’t make it as partners, either!

Now, business partners may become friends. It just seems that, when friends become business partners, the friendship and the business often suffer.

If you still think it’s a good idea to go into business with a friend, here’s a suggestion. Except you shouldn’t think of it as just a suggestion. You should view it as something you absolutely have to do before you launch the business with your friend.

A business partnership is like a marriage. You need a pre-nuptial agreement.
So have your business attorney draw up such an agreement. To figure out what should be in the agreement, sit down with your attorney and discuss all the “what ifs”.

Here are a few examples:

  • What if the business fails?
  • What if it succeeds wildly?
  • What if one of you is incapacitated?
  • What if one of you dies?
  • What if one of you gets divorced?
  • What if one of you wants out?

These aren’t pleasant things to think about, let alone talk about. However, discussing them now while you’re friends beats trying to work it out later when you might not be so friendly.

There’s no money better spent than the money you’ll spend to have your attorney walk you and your friend through scenarios like these. If you insist on going into business together, then establish the boundaries of your business relationship upfront. 

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