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Thursday's Ask the Experts: Business partner

January 08, 2009
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Thursday''s Ask the Experts question from a cleaning professional on the International Custodial Advisors Network (ICAN) "Ask the Experts" page: A friend wants to bring me into his cleaning company as a partner. Everything is in place. He just needs the extra help and expertise. What should I expect, and what questions should I ask him before I say yes?
The answer
A true and legal partnership is established by a legal agreement describing the terms and conditions of the relationship. This would cover everything from who is responsible for what operations to what happens if the partnership is dissolved by mutual consent or the death of one of the partners.
The agreement would spell out the salaries of each partner and the financial responsibilities each has.
In a going business, the startup costs have been borne by the original entrepreneur. Naturally, his expected return on investment (ROI) will be greater than that of someone who comes in to assist without any financial contribution to the enterprise.
If you are coming in as an environmental engineer, that expertise will be your contribution to the growth. Among the first questions you will want answered are, what are you expected to do, and how much you will be paid for your services? Are you expected to sell contracts, train employees, or clean carpets when the need arises? What sort of extra help is needed?
Defining, and putting in writing, your exact
... — Lynn E. Krafft, ICAN/ATEX Associate Editor
lekrafft@juno.com
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