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Four tips for choosing a business partner

Taking on a partner for your business could be the key to strengthening, expanding or consolidating your business.

The right partner can provide ideas and knowledge to help your business grow. To find a good match, it's important to clearly identify the specific skills, experience, financial resources and personal qualities you are looking for.

Here are some things to think about when choosing a business partner:

Skill set

The ideal partner will have skills that complement yours. For example, if you have sales and marketing expertise, you could benefit from a partner with strong organizational skills and business acumen.

Business history

Check out your prospective partner's experience and background thoroughly. Start by calling former employers or business partners.

Financial resources

Look at whether your prospective partner has the ability to contribute capital and/or loan guarantees. What stake in the business will the partner purchase? What about financial expectations?

Interpersonal relations

Make sure the chemistry is right. Spend time talking over business issues and find out if your goals and values match. You might even want to work together on a trial basis.

Once you've found the right partner, get agreements into place. For example, a buy-sell agreement covers circumstances such as death, disability or the wish of either partner to dissolve the partnership. Professional advice from Servus can help you prepare agreements that will protect you and your business.

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