What To Consider When Starting A Business With A Friend Or Family Member

Kevin Mauermann
3 min readMar 29, 2022

It sounds like a dream come true to have your best friend or family member as your co-worker. Being able to own your own business together could be even better. There are a few factors to keep in mind if you’re thinking of starting a business with a loved one though.

Are You Compatible?

Even if you’ve known them for a long time, there’s a good chance that you’re not exactly aware of their working style. Having an honest conversation about this will help you figure out what works for them. This is similar to when two friends decide to live together only to discover that being roommates isn’t as easy as being just friends.

Before you start talking about starting a business, ask your potential co-worker a few questions about themselves to get an idea of their working style. They could also tell you about their favorite time of day to do their best work, and how they handle setbacks at work.

Communication Is A Must

Having open lines of communication is also important during the early stages of a business relationship. This will allow you to talk about the details of the situation and come up with a solution that works for both of you.

Keep It Professional

The casualness and trust that many people feel when they start a business with someone close to them can be great, however, it’s also important to set some ground rules.

For instance, if you’re thinking of starting a business with a partner, then you might need to form a limited liability company or a DBA. A good lawyer can help you draft these documents.

Even though it might be uncomfortable to talk about the worst-case scenarios, having a contingency plan can help you avoid costly mistakes later on.

Assign Explicit Roles

When you start a new job at a large company, you usually get a clear job description. However, when you start a new venture, it can feel like you’re constantly doing multiple jobs at once.

The great thing about starting a business with someone is that both of you can share the burden of starting the company. Having a clear role in the company will help avoid conflicts.

Make Time For Your Personal Relationship, Not Just Your Professional

It can be easy to talk about the details of a business venture whenever you’re with your partner. However, this can be detrimental to both of you in the long run.

Before you start a business, talk about how you can maintain a strong relationship with your partner outside of the company. For instance, if you love going hiking together, make a promise to not talk about work while you’re on the trail.

It’s also important to carve out time to spend apart from one another. Doing so can help improve the relationship and make it work.

Originally published at https://kevinmauermann.net on March 29, 2022.



Kevin Mauermann

Located in the Greater Seattle Area, Kevin Mauermann is the President of The Mauermann Group. Learn more by visiting Kevin’s website. http://kevinmauermann.net/