starting
The non-dilution clause from my investor contract.

How to Pick the Right Attorney For Your Startup

by Caroline Cummings

Picking the right attorney in your startup is as important as picking the right business partner. You can’t underestimate the importance of selecting an attorney who “gets” your business model, your market opportunity, and most importantly, your fundraising and exit strategy. Read more »

growing
are-you-and-your-business-partner-on-the-same-page

Are You and Your Business Partner on the Same Page?

by Cassy Parker

Disputes over money can drive a wedge between the strongest of relationships, whether you’re part of a married couple weighed down by debt, or business partners disagreeing over the best use of the company credit card. When it comes to business, partners on opposite sides of heavy issues can stifle the ability of the company... Read more »

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What to Look For in a Business Partner Square

What to Look For in a Business Partner

by Allison Berliner

Surrounding yourself with the right people at the right time is crucial for hitting milestones. So how do you know when you are working with the right people—or, more importantly, with the wrong people? Read more »

funding
4 Things That Will Scare Investors Away

Looking for Money? These 4 Things Will Scare Investors Away

by Lisa Furgison

Whether you’re trying to borrow money from a colleague or land the financial backing of a venture capitalist, there are certain traits that can scare even the hardiest of investors away. Finding startup funds may be one of the toughest things you’ll do as an entrepreneur, so if you have an interested investor you should... Read more »

funding
Millenial and Boomer Parent

My Favorite 2014 Trend is Boomer-Millenial Partnerships

by Tim Berry

Every year around this time I look forward to Steve King’s small business trends for the next year. Read more »

funding
Adi Bittan

Lessons Learned: How Choosing the Wrong Partner Cost One Entrepreneur Her Business

by Lisa Furgison

Adi Bittan says every entrepreneur can learn from her first-business mistakes, and offers these tips to new founders considering a partnership. Read more »

funding
Two businessmen shake hands

How to Get a Partnership Deal for Your Business

by Scott Gerber

A good partnership deal can take your business to the next level, and no business is too new or too small to start looking towards the future and considering potential partnerships. Read more »

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Meetup

How to Find the Perfect Business Partner

by Alexa Garthwaite

You probably have an idealized image in your head of the type of like-minded individual you would like to launch your venture with, but as with a lot of aspects in life, things don’t always work out the way you planned. The stark reality is that you will most likely work your way through multiple business partners as you embark down your desired career path, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. Due to the continued and rapid growth of the internet and social media, there are more ways than ever to find a partner who shares your goals and aspirations. Below we've collected some of the best ways to find your perfect business partner. Read more »

funding
Do I need cofounders

How many business partners should you have? Maybe zero

by Michael Dolen

When the chemistry is just right, it’s true that going into business with others can be a blessing. But don’t think that’s the only way to do it. If you have the drive, you can succeed on your own, too. Read more »

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cofounders

Everything you always wanted to know about cofounders

by R. Paul Singh

Do I need a co-founder? How do I chose one? What do I do if the relationship doesn’t work out? These are some of the most frequent questions about co-founders that I have heard from entrepreneurs over the years. In this post, I’ll try to answer these, and a few other important related questions. Do... Read more »

funding
smhandshake via FOTOCROMO

Partnerships: Six Things You Need to Know Before You Say “I do”.

by Susan Solovic

So you want to go into business with someone.  Good for you.  Maybe your potential partner is a family member, long-time friend, investor or business associate.  Whatever the relationship, the start of a partnership is much like the beginning of a romantic relationship.  The parties are euphoric and it may seem as though nothing could... Read more »

funding

Choose an Investor Like You Would a Spouse

by Tim Berry

I know I’ve said this before, but I just had a long talk with a brilliant young entrepreneur in a bad situation, and I want to say it again: Getting your new business financed is not necessarily a good thing. It’s not the obvious goal. Getting investment, by itself, is not a win. No. Investment... Read more »

funding
Photo by Gary Simmons

Ask the Expert – Sweat Equity

by Tim Berry

Question There are two partners. One partner has invested a large amount of cash. The other has invested strictly time, which if fairly valued would also be a large amount of cash. Is it reasonable, or acceptable to indicate the value of time invested in the form of a cash value as a “Startup Expense”... Read more »

funding

How Not to Divide Ownership

by Tim Berry

Here’s a case for discussion. You be the judge. Mary comes up with a great idea for an iPhone application. She works on it for three months in her spare time. She develops sketches and designs, trying to figure out how it would work. She looks at other iPhone applications doing related things. About three... Read more »

funding

Financing With Strings Attached

by Tim Berry

I’ve posted similar stuff on this blog before, but it’s always nice when you get it straight from The New York Times. I just read Financing, With Strings Attached on NYTimes.com. My favorite line–I heard it first from Portland, Ore., venture capitalist David Chen — which I use a lot is “choose an investor like you... Read more »

funding

Don’t Let Anybody Work for Free

by Tim Berry

Here’s an insight for fairness: Always separate payment for work from equity ownership. I posted arguing with partners over compensation earlier this week, dealing with a real problem in a real company. I got a follow-up question to that today, offering more detail and asking for more detail in return. It’s messy. It also looks... Read more »

funding

Arguing With Partners Over Compensation

by Tim Berry

Here’s the question I got today in email: I recently started a business with four others. Modest revenue has begun and two of the partners want to draw compensation. What is the trade off for them drawing compensation while others do not? The question reminds me that a lot of people confuse getting paid for... Read more »

funding

Before You Tie the Knot

by Tim Berry

Shelly Banjo has an excellent story in her Running a Business column in The Wall Street Journal, called Before You Tie the Knot. I’ve likened finding an investor to choosing a spouse previously in this blog, but she goes deeper into partnerships and the like. Too many people think they know a friend or colleague... Read more »

funding

Shareholder/Partnership Agreements: Prepare for the Worst and You Will Succeed

by Chad Barczak

So you are starting a new business and you and your partners are really excited about the endless possibilities that await you. The last thing you want to think about is the worst-case scenario — the failure of the business or a partnership gone wrong. Failure to plan and lack of funding are both leading... Read more »

funding

Plan for Ownership Changes with Shareholders

by Nolo

While diligently filing articles of incorporation and adopting bylaws, many corporate owners overlook a critical element of their business relationship: buy-sell, or buyout, provisions. By creating a shareholders’ agreement with buy-sell provisions, the owners of a small, privately held corporation can prepare for events that have been the downfall of more than a few successful... Read more »