How to choose a business partner

Choosing to find a business partner or co-founder is probably the second most important decision you’ll make - only after actually deciding to launch a business, that is. Ask any entrepreneur out there: being an entrepreneur can be lonely. Not all startups are unicorns that generate constant recognition, A solo entrepreneur soon finds out how lonely it can be at the top and how overwhelming the business can become.

When choosing a business partner, it is not always a straightforward process and someone who may seem a good choice, in theory, might not necessarily be the best option. It is important to look at key elements when deciding who you wish to take on as an equal part of your startup journey. So what should you take into consideration when deciding who to bring on board?

Same, Same

It is important that the person you go into business with shares the same values and ideals as you. At the end of the day, your business needs to have one vision in order to succeed and not be pulled in too many directions. Start by discussing the plan for the business and where you both see it going in the future. Align these together and move forward.

But Different

The best partnerships are those when each individual brings a diverse set of skills to the table. By being different you cover far more bases and it allows for the partnership to thrive with each other's contrasting strengths complementing one another and creating balance.


Like any relationship, going into business with someone incurs a lot of trust. This person will be the one you rely on to work alongside you and help push the business forward, as well as provide support, both emotionally and financially. Trust is the most important requirement when choosing a business partner so choose wisely.

Work, work, work, work, work

Sometimes the best partnerships come from those who you have worked with in the past. Choosing a business partner who you have had a past working relationship allows for inside information on their work ethic, dynamic, and if they are a team player who pulls their weight. Knowledge is key at the end of the day, so take advantage of the insight when making a choice.

Matthew Watt