Would you get married to a person you’ve only spent a few days with?  It may sound like an insane weekend in Vegas, but startup founders do this all the time. Not realizing the commitment it takes – years, not months – founders are notorious for haphazardly jumping into partnerships.  Just as you would hesitate to get married after a weekend, take your time when looking for a business partner.  Find someone whose long-term interests and vision align closely with yours.  And whether your new partner is a weekend fling or a life-long devotion, get a pre-nup.

The startup world’s version of a pre-nup is a contract between partners that specifies exactly how the company will operate – everything from what equity is owned by whom to the details of what happens if the founding team breaks up.  Get a great startup lawyer to make sure your pre-nup includes all of the important issues.  Use this contract to protect your interests, and those of the company.  So many startup failures happen as a result of poor partnership planning.  It might be awkward to talk about contingencies, but it could save your company down the road.

Matt Sand

Author Matt Sand

Passionate about making a difference through innovation and entrepreneurship.

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