What should you look for in your next business partner?

You have an excellent business idea, but you can't do it alone. You need a partner who brings specific skills and assets to the company. You know that the success of the business rides on how well this initial partnership works out. So, what should you look for in your new business partner?

First off, you need someone who cares about the business, who is passionate about it. You don't just want someone who is in it for the money or because they got bored with their other job. You need someone who wants to succeed as much as you do.

Similarly, commitment is important. If you quit your job to run the new business but your partner keeps their job and tries to do both things at once, you have to question whether or not you share the same commitment. That's not to say that starting a side business while keeping a job is a bad idea. It's just potentially problematic when only one person will commit that much.

You also need someone you can trust. Listen to your gut on this one. You have to trust that the other person will put the company first and respect you from the very first day you work together. If you have any questions about this, it may be wise to look for someone else.

Lastly, you should look for someone with skills you do not have. This way, you both add value to the company and no one starts thinking they could do this better on their own.

As you start your new business together, make sure you understand what legal steps to take and what paperwork -- like a partnership agreement -- you should use.

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