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The Partnership Charter

How to Start Out Right With Your New Business Partnership (Or Fix the One You’re In)

By David Gage
13-minute read
The Partnership Charter: How to Start Out Right With Your New Business Partnership (Or Fix the One You’re In) by David Gage

The Partnership Charter (2004) describes how business partners can avoid lasting damage to a business relationship by making sure to talk openly about everything. Using a tested process, business partners can put aside differences and successfully build a strong company together.

  • Start-up founders
  • Coaches or communication experts advising business founders
  • Leaders struggling in a current business partnership

David Gage is a clinical psychologist, an adjunct professor at the American University Kogod School of Business in Washington, D.C. and the founder of BMS Associates, a mediation and consulting firm.

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The Partnership Charter

How to Start Out Right With Your New Business Partnership (Or Fix the One You’re In)

By David Gage
  • Read in 13 minutes
  • Contains 8 key ideas
The Partnership Charter: How to Start Out Right With Your New Business Partnership (Or Fix the One You’re In) by David Gage
Synopsis

The Partnership Charter (2004) describes how business partners can avoid lasting damage to a business relationship by making sure to talk openly about everything. Using a tested process, business partners can put aside differences and successfully build a strong company together.

Key idea 1 of 8

Discuss important matters with prospective partners, ideally before you’ve started working together.

Going at it alone isn’t an easy path, which is why so many entrepreneurs find a business partner.

But a business partnership doesn’t always succeed. And although such relationships are rewarding and profitable when they do work, a failed partnership can potentially ruin your life.

On the other hand, working with someone else makes it much easier to start and run a business, as you can combine skills and share responsibilities. And that’s exactly why Inc. magazine’s annual list of fastest-growing companies is chock-full of partner-led enterprises.

Yet the downside is that a partnership gone wrong can have devastating consequences. Even in the best-case scenario, when partners manage to work out disagreements privately and avoid litigation, the costs of lost job satisfaction is huge. And that doesn’t even begin to cover emotional damage, either.

That’s exactly why you should discuss all the details with a prospective partner before committing to a business relationship. Although you can never be fully certain whether a partnership will blossom or wither, it does help to discuss important matters, ideally before you’ve started working together.

To that end, take advantage of the Partnership Charter.

We’ll look at three key aspects of communication with a business partner, considering business details, personal relationships and future development of your business.

These steps are easy to follow, and at the end, you’ll have a written charter documenting each partner’s goals and expectations. There’s no better way to start a partnership correctly!

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