Do I Need a Partner to Launch My Own Firm?

Whether or not to take on a partner when launching a firm is a decision I see multiple entrepreneurs struggle with. The truth is, there are any number of reasons that taking on a single business partner, or multiple partners, from the start may be the right thing to do. 

The flip side of this is that there are also wrong reasons to take on a partner. One of the biggest: The feeling that you need a named partner from launch in order to make your business a success. 

Here’s a hard truth: If you feel like you really need a business partner in order to be able to start a business, you’re probably not ready to be an entrepreneur. I’ve seen way too many people give away huge chunks of equity because of unfounded fears and insecurities around going it alone. 

Ask yourself why you feel like you need a partner. If it’s about money, are there other ways you can get capital? A bank, cashing out investments, even friends and family loans can work as seed money. If it’s about not wanting to be lonely or needing someone to bounce ideas off of, make friends with other entrepreneurs. Mastermind groups are awesome for this. 

If you don’t feel like you have the required level of expertise, ask yourself if that’s really true and if the answer is yes, go and work for someone else and shore up your skills until you feel more confident. 

Bringing on an active business partner makes sense if and only if 1) the potential partner is someone you trust implicitly and have worked with for years. And 2) you can do much more together than you could alone. 

If your potential partnership doesn’t meet at least those two criteria, you’re acting prematurely.