Naperville Business Attorney Discusses Finding the Right Business Partner

Whether you are looking to start a new business venture or are considering a long-term deal that could affect your company for years, it is vitally important to choose your business partners carefully. Such decisions are especially critical if you are creating a partnership in the early stages of your business. In my practice, I always remind my commercial clients that a business partnership is rather like a marriage; you are joining your interests together with the hope of creating something successful. The biggest difference is that you will probably spend more time with your business partner than with your spouse. As you take the steps toward making your new project a reality, an Illinois business attorney can help you decide upon the right partner.

Is a Business Partner Necessary?

Your first consideration in choosing a business partner should be whether or not you even need one. A careful analysis of your business plan, financial situation, and the market expectations can give you an idea of your needs. Does your company require more than one person willing to take risks and work with little return for a while? Could you possibly keep that role for yourself and hire someone you can trust but who is not financially invested?

The Partner’s Anticipated Role

The second part of the first consideration is to understand what, exactly, you would need from a partner. In some situations, you may only require working capital, so a silent financial partner may be ideal. Alternatively, you may need help in certain areas of your business; for example, you may have tremendous technical skills, but are struggling with public relations and sales. You would probably want to find a partner whose skill set complements your own to help your company grow.

It is also important to recognize what you will expect from your partner. If you put in 15-hour days, will he or she be expected to as well? Will you share equal authority over other employees? Work with your attorney in developing a plan that identifies your needs and expectations. Then you can begin looking for the person who will fill the role you have created for him or her.

Do Your Research

Once you have reached the point where you have an idea of that for which you are looking, and potential candidates have begun to emerge, it is time to start doing your homework. Find out if your prospective partner has a reputation in the industry or in the community, and if it is positive or negative. Communicate directly about expectations, both yours and theirs, and what your partner is hoping to get out of the arrangement.

Uncomfortable though it might be, you may also need to get a little personal. You will want to understand what drives your partner and if he or she will have the support of family and friends in your proposed venture. What is his or her financial situation and is it sustainable based upon your projections and contingencies for your company? If your prospective partner is unable to survive on the income your partnership will provide, even in the short-term, is your business relationship truly feasible?

Help With Being Prepared

A successful business venture is based upon a foundation of solid planning and dedicated preparation. Choosing a partner is no different. For help in understanding your company’s needs and developing a strategy for the future, contact an experienced Naperville business law attorney. At the Gierach Law Firm, we are equipped to help your business succeed at every stage. Call 630-756-1160 for more information or to schedule an appointment.