Question Hi Lee,
I have been wanting to open up my own business teaching tennis to children and adults with special needs. I believe that I can make the program unique and I have the confidence that I will eventually be able to expand. My question though is about business partners and what your opinion is on them. I have been going back and fourth about whether I should invite my friend as a partner on this venture. We have worked together in the past and I am confident that he would be responsible, trustworthy, reliable etc. I definitely will need help but I'm not sure if I want to forfeit 50% of the business and the profits that come with it. Am I being sensible in thinking this way or do you believe splitting the profits should not be my reason for not forming a partnership? Are there partnerships where he owns a minority stake? And lastly what are your overall impressions of partnerships vs. single ownership? Thanks in advance! Brad.
Answer Partners in a new business usually provide financial or sweat equity to a business. If you want to offer 50% of the shares is this person providing the same input as you are? You should keep at least 51% of the shares so that you maintain control of your company. Rather than suggesting they become a partner why not suggest they work for your company. That way you keep control, they get a regular salary and you get their help. Before setting up a partnership see a lawyer so that you do it properly and it is legally documented.
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