A Business Partner? When? How?

Nina L. Kaufman, Esq.

Nina L. Kaufman, Esq.

Nina L. Kaufman, Esq., owner of Ask The Business Lawyer, is an award-winning business attorney, speaker, and Entrepreneur Magazine online contributor. She saves consulting and professional services companies time, money, and aggravation by serving as their outsourced legal counsel.

Posted on April 2, 2015 in Business Partners, Planning & Advisors

Deciding on a business partner can provide the key to a rewarding and successful long-term relationship.  Rhonda Abrams’ USA Today article outlines a number of considerations to keep in mind.  I know a number of entrepreneurs who raced into partnerships because they weren’t comfortable being alone — and, like romantic relationships, that’s usually not a strong enough reason to make it work.

[Thanks to Marian Banker who brought this article to light in our Successful Business Partnerships LinkedIn group]

To clarify something in the article, too: many lawyers will include both the “partnership terms” and the “buy/sell” terms into one agreement. If you wait to draw up the buy/sell terms (that is, your exit strategy and valuation of your share of the business), you could find yourself in a pickle if something happens before you’ve done it.

As an example, I had a business client whose owners were “getting around to” discussing the terms of their agreement (not for any lack of prodding on my part). Only 18 months into the business, one of the owners, a 33-year-old male with no prior health issues, was diagnosed with a chronic illness and had to leave the company. Pronto. You can imagine the tension that that suddenly created.

 

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