50 key questions to ask before committing to a business partner
Creating a business with a partner may offer many benefits, but may also pose potential risks and major challenges to you and your startup. Partners can quickly clash over goals, money, time commitments, and more.
Here are a list of 50 crucial questions to ask your potential partner before you commit to a business partnership:
Personal Values and Goals
1. How would you describe yourself? 2. What do you consider to be your calling? 3. What are you passionate about? 4. What are your priorities? 5. What are your immediate goals? (Within the next 6 months) 6. What are your short-term goals? (1-3 years) 7. What are your long-term goals? (5-10 years) 8. What are your ultimate goals? (>10 years) 9. What will you do when you achieve your goals? 10. What are your immediate financial goals? (Within the next 6 months) 11. What are your short-term financial goals? (1-3 years) 12. What are your long-term financial goals? (5-10 years) 13. What are your ultimate financial goals? 14. What do you think is/are the most important characteristic(s) of a person? 15. What are your strengths? 16. What are your weaknesses? 17. What motivates you? 18. What do you consider to be fun? 19. What makes you happy? 20. What makes you sad? 21. What makes you angry? 22. What scares you? What are your fears?
Work Style and Schedule
23. Are you an early bird or a night owl? 24. What type of work environment do you enjoy? 25. Do you like to work autonomously or collaboratively? 26. How do you see decisions being made? 27. How do you handle difficult situations? What is your style to resolve conflicts? 28. What do you consider as deal-breakers? What will make you consider to break up a partnership? 29. How much time are you willing to devote to a new venture? 30. What date and time can you allocate to the business? 31. What is the best communication method? Text, phone call, email, etc? 32. What is your availability for face-to-face meeting? 33. What is your availability for in-prompt messages?
Business Structure and Goals
34. What type of business structure? LLC, S Corp, Partnership? 35. What roles and responsibilities would you like to take on? 36. What job title would you like to have? 37. What do you want the business to accomplish in the next 6 months? 38. What do you want the business to achieve in one year? 39. What do you want the business to achieve in three year? 40. What do you want the business to achieve in five year? 41. What do you want in a business partner? 42. What percentage of business ownership would you like to have? 43. How should we allocate the profits, losses, and draws? 44. What is the capital strategy? When will you take on debt? When will you give up equity? What do you think about pay 3rd party vendors/contractors for equity? Personal Assets and Contributions
45. What tangible assets can you bring to the business? 46. What intangible assets can you bring to the business? 47. What networking connections or social following can you bring to the business? 48. How much money will you be able to contribute to the business?
Dissolution of Business
49. If a buyer is interested in acquiring our business, how much will you consider to hand over the ownership? 50. What is your preferred exit strategy (i.e., to sell or leave the company)? How will we dissolve the partnership?
"The best partnerships aren't dependent on a mere common goal but on a shared path of equality, desire, and no small amount of passion." ~ Sarah MacLean