So you have decided to join forces with someone who shares your vision and passion to start a new venture. Before coming up with a business plan, marketing strategies, and services offered, it is important to lay some groundwork and draw up a Florida Partnership Agreement, Florida Bylaws, or a Florida Operating Agreement depending on the type of business entity you form. Although it is not legally necessary to have such a document, the Partnership Agreement along with other preliminary steps discussed in this article will potentially irradiate issues or conflicts arising from poor planning.
This first thing to discuss with your partner is the tasks and roles that each of you will be responsible for. How well do your abilities complement each other? If one is better at keeping track of finances and records, the other may take over sales and marketing. Get to know each other’s strengths and weaknesses, past experience, and expertise. Make sure you both feel comfortable expressing your needs and expectations for your business from the very beginning. Ask questions about values, goals, and motivations to make sure you are on the same page before moving forward. You might want to try working together on a smaller project or plan a trip to focus on understanding your chemistry and how you deal with certain situations on a small scale.
Once you feel confident to move forward, the absolute next step is the written agreement. Your document should include the roles and responsibilities of the partners, exit clauses, compensation, investments, and ownership, among others, depending on the terms. Use this as an opportunity to outline the business terms and establish weekly, monthly, and yearly routines for partners, managers, and staff. Defining each detail about your business and the documents, contracts, and licenses will protect you from headaches and other legal issues if any conflicts were to arise. See what Gulati Law can do for you and your business partner today!
Source: Wall Street Journal – Small Business- Starting a Business