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The Ultimate Guide to Choosing the Right Business Partner

A lone wolf will only make it so far. Launching your own business is no easy feat; it takes hard work, late nights, and countless hours. When you shoulder the burden alone, burnout is likely to follow. What is more, you won’t be an expert at everything, even with an extensive skill set. The right business partner can prove pivotal to your outcomes.

To choose the right partner, look for complementary traits, reliability, and compatibility in terms of business trajectory. You won’t go wrong with someone who’s always ready for a good challenge. Even if the person meets all your criteria, it won’t hurt to run a background check on them.

Find a Partner with Complementary Traits

If you look up the most notable business partnerships in history, you’ll find complimentary personality traits at the heart of them all. A reserved, quiet partner matches a gregarious and sociable one perfectly. A grounded, humble partner would do well with one who always goes for the gold. Your partner’s attitude and approach should work with yours in synergy.

Company leadership is always impacted by complementary personality traits. Both employees and businesses can benefit from a person who strikes a balance in leadership. The whole team feels this approach, which helps create solid trust between partners.

A Partner You Can Count On

Reliability is key to a successful partnership. A partner you can count on will challenge you, share your ambition and passion, and usher in new ideas and skills. It’s important to feel safe knowing your partner is as dedicated to your joint initiative and goal as you are. Test their reliability by seeing if they can deliver on time, whether they arrive on time for meetings, and that they follow up with you as agreed. You will be able to spot red flags before taking them on as a partner officially because these interactions will teach you a lot. For example, last-minute canceling or rescheduling tends to be a red flag.

Sharing a Vision

Of course, this starts with having a vision and being able to explain it. Do you want to get rich and exit or achieve slower but sustainable growth? Your partner should share your vision. If they’re looking for a fast exit and you want a more measured growth rate, you’re both in for a nasty surprise.

They Should Challenge You

Your partner should always be up for a good challenge, as should you. More specifically, they should make you want to achieve more and more. There will be times when you feel discouraged, irritable, or simply exhausted. If your partner is right for you, they should be able to rekindle the flames. You will embrace more creative approaches, different ways of thinking, and, ultimately, a stronger business.

Sharing a passion, but having different viewpoints will help make the soundest decisions for the business. You’ll never realize your way of doing things is not the best if there’s no one to challenge it, and we all have so much to learn.

Mistakes to Avoid

Now that you’ve found the right partner and the check found a clean background, you might want to sign a Business Partnership Agreement. People tend to make two big mistakes when it comes to this: having an incomplete written agreement or not having a written agreement at all.

True, written partnership agreements are not mandatory, but they are critical to ensure smooth business operation. A verbal agreement won’t do in a complicated situation. Incomplete agreements are just that – they don’t cover everything that needs covering. It is important to formalize both positive and negative scenarios, such as what happens if the partnership should fall apart or issues related to dispute resolution. Ideally, get an attorney to write the agreement up to make sure you’ve got all bases covered.


The expenses involved in drafting a Business Partnership Agreement can vary depending on your business, its type, and its complexity. Apart from registration and/or professional service fees, you may need to reckon with legal fees, the cost to create a website, registering your business name and company, accountant fees, and logos and other intellectual property. If applicable, you may need to pay for health inspection and gambling, liquor, or tobacco licensing.

Final Thoughts

There’s no need to wait to go back to “business as usual,” whether due to the pandemic or for any other reason. You don’t need to face any crisis alone. A solid partnership will help your business stay strong in the face of adversity.

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