Going into Business Together: Don’t Rely on a Handshake!

Great – you have found people who share your vision to own and grow a business. But don’t forget that going into business with other people requires you to think ahead and be clear about the relationship. This is your livelihood and future. Do not think for a minute that conflicts can be resolved as you go along. Even the best of friends can end up in serious conflict over issues that might seem minor.

While you may be tempted to save the money that an attorney might charge to document your agreement, think about the thousands of dollars you may have to pay to litigate a conflict or the money you might lose because such a conflict keeps you from operating a profitable business.

Regardless of the legal entity you may choose for your business, think about every issue that might be relevant for your particular situation, and have your attorney draft the appropriate legal papers. Naturally, you cannot foresee every possible disagreement that might arise in the future. Beware of business partners who need to agree on every minute detail of the business-to-be. (That could be a hint that going into business with that particular person might not work out for you in the long term.)

Following are some of the basic issues you need to agree on with your fellow business partners.

Read More