You and your best friend are looking into starting a business together. You have done all your research on the type of business you want to start. You have talked to some financial backers and are ready to go. Or are you? There are at least three things you should know before starting a business with a friend.
Get it all in writing: You may have been friends since kindergarten but money does strange things to people. Its in the best interest to you both to sit down and get all of your business details in writing. Who is the owner and who is the co owner. How much profit from the business does each person receive? Make sure that all of these business related details are fully documented, dated and signed by each person. This is just one of the precautions you should take prior to the beginning of your business partnership.
Prepare for the worst: If in the event you and your friend have a fall out, be prepared. When partnering with anyone in business affairs you risk having to battle it out over company events and money. People can become very power hungry, selfish and greedy. Money after all is the source of all evil. If this is to happen its best that you have all of your business details documented as stated above. Also make sure you have mentally prepared yourself for such an event. It can be a heart wrenching and stressful occurrence. It is healthier for you to have at least considered that this is a possibility.
Protect yourself: Be wise in what you do with the business. Take care of your finances. Save money when possible and keep detailed track of both incoming and outgoing cash flow. If there was a falling out of sorts between you and your business partner you want to make sure you are financially secure. You protect yourself this way as well as keeping good book keeping records. Once again people do become a type of Jekyl and Hyde with money. Its not selfish to be sure that you are safe. Business affairs can become scandalous and overwhelming. You just want to make sure when its all over you come out on top.
Keep these three things in mind, documentation, preparation and protection. This information is not to make you feel paranoid. Its not meant to make you suspicious of your friend either. These are just pieces of information that are important in keeping you safe. Its a simple fact in the world of money. Business is serious and should be taken so. Think before you leap and you and your friend will both start on a safe path to a beautiful business relationship.