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Could a business friendship lead to an accidental partnership?

On Behalf of | Jul 12, 2021 | Business Law

Getting started with a new business idea can be an exciting time. Of course, any new venture can be a challenge without the help and support of your friends and family.

While you are talking about your vision for your new company, you may find yourself inspiring others to get involved. Although your loved ones may offer tremendous support, you may also be apprehensive about going into business with them.

Here’s how you can avoid forming an accidental partnership.

Clear boundaries

One way people form accidental partnerships is when they do not have clear boundaries between themselves and those who support them. While you may entrust your friend to help you run errands or accomplish other tasks for the business, they should not make those decisions for you.

It may seem awkward to make these distinctions with a friend. Still, it can significantly impact how they view their ability to act on behalf of the business. When your friend has the impression they can work on your behalf, it starts to blur the line between friend and business partner.

Create a concrete agreement

Over the years, you and your friends have supported each other. You did not need contracts or formal agreements, so adding one now may seem overly complicated.

When you set clear boundaries and communicate them with an agreement, you can remove some of the tension in the relationship (because you both know your roles) and avoid confusion regarding who can act on behalf of your company.

The danger of an accidental partnership

When your friend starts to act on behalf of your business, for better or worse, they are making decisions that you are responsible for. Although your friend may have had good intentions for their actions, they may not always know what risks you are willing to take.

A friend who acts as your business partner could create debts and other liabilities in your name, putting you and your business at risk.