Going into business with somebody can be, quite frankly, risky business. Even with ample screening and interviews, or going into business with someone you already knew, your relationship with that individual can drastically change once in the business. In order to protect your company and position yourself for success, read below to learn what to look for in a business partner.


One of the most important aspects of a business partner is trust. When you’re handling important matters, giving access to bank accounts and handing over company passwords, being able to trust your business partner is crucial. Ultimately, they might have to earn your trust throughout your partnership. It can be challenging to assess this aspect in someone until they are truly challenged. In most cases, however, it shouldn’t be too difficult to find a trustworthy partner. But pay mind to any red flags that might arise prior to sealing the deal.

Complementary Skills

It can be tempting to want to go into business with someone who exhibits the same skill set as you. But consider how this could damage your business, as there will likely be some gaps that need to be filled. As you contemplate going into business with an individual, consider how their different skills and leadership style may end up complementing yours. While the saying “opposites attract” is often used to describe a romantic relationship, it can also apply quite well to a business partnership. While it is good to have some overlap, your business partner should also have skills that fill in your gaps.

Likable Personality

Your business venture will require you to spend a great deal of time with your partner. The chances are that you will end up spending more time with this individual than with your family or friends. Therefore, you should choose someone who you wouldn’t mind spending this time with. Someone’s skillset may line up for the role, but if you find yourself growing frustrated by them in less than an hour, then you probably should not go through with your partnership. While your partnership may take a bit of compromise at certain times, you should choose to go into business with someone with who you are compatible and with who you wouldn’t mind spending long periods of time.

A business partnership can sometimes make or break a company. No pressure, right? However, taking these extra measures can help position you for success and assist you in forming a partnership that could last through the ups and downs of owning a business.