When you and your business partner talk about risk, you’re probably thinking about the risks you decide to take with the company — changing your focus, reaching out to a new audience, taking on more debt and so on.
But what if your risk comes from your business partner? The decisions they make and the actions they take can dramatically impact the success of the company — or the lack thereof. How do you know if your partner is going to put the company at risk? Is there a chance you need to find someone else to work with?
Red flags that signal trouble
There are many red flags to look out for where your partners are concerned, both professionally and personally. Below are just a few to consider:
- You and your business partner have very different values. This can change what you want to do with the company or how you decide to run it.
- You have different goals for the business. If you can’t find common ground, you may feel like you’re working against each other.
- Your business partner has a financial history lined with red flags, which may impact the current business.
- You feel like you do more of the work and it’s clear that your drive is not the same.
- Your partner pushes back against the idea of having an official partnership agreement or anything along those lines.
You don’t have the same level of skill. Ideally, you both want to bring something unique to the business. Issues with a business partner can get very complicated and may even lead to legal action. If they do, be sure that you know what steps to take to protect your reputation, interests and business. An experienced legal advocate can help you better understand your position.