Starting a Small Business/Business partners?


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.

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.

Starting a Small Business

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Lee Lister


If you are a serious entrepreneur and want to set up your own business or ensure that your existing business is more profitable then let me assist you. I answer questions on business start up, business strategy, business models, business planning, marketing plans, marketing strategy, branding, business tune ups and business improvement. I do not answer any legal, tax or accountancy questions - you should see your own professional adviser about these. If you cannot be bothered to read and rate my answers - I can't be bothered to answer yours! If you have a small internet based company, I would welcome your help in completing a survey and helping me with my Masters Dissertation. I am researching how a small company can build its brand and grow quickly using social media marketing. The survey takes 4 minutes and all information is confidential and will NEVER be used for marketing purposes. Thank you in advance. The link to the survey is below:


Over 20 year’s management, IT and business consultancy experience with businesses large and small as well as being a serial entrepreneur.

A prolific writer and published author, I write on entrepreneurship, project, bid management and career improvement.

BA (Hons) Economics MSc Marketing Management , studying for DBA. Numerous business qualifications.

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