Russ Cook & Associates, PC
view our Practice areas

4 things you must do if you start a business with a friend

Starting a business can be a frightening, but exciting, experience people rarely do alone. Most business owners require support, encouragement and contributions from others to get the business off the ground. This is why many people often decide to start a business with a friend.

However, for all the benefits that can come with starting a business with a friend, there are also drawbacks that can jeopardize both the business and the friendship. To avoid this, there are some important steps you can take at the beginning of your professional pursuit.

  1. Define your roles early on. While you may both be involved in virtually every step of getting the business running, discuss how you plan to eventually separate responsibilities. As this Mashable article notes, defining roles early on can help prevent confusion and complications.
  2. Decide how you will resolve your disputes. It could be very helpful to set some boundaries regarding dispute resolution from the beginning when you are both thinking positively and on the same page. You might decide to have a voting system in place, or divvy up decision-making authority based on areas of expertise. You might also consider defining the chosen method of dispute resolution you will pursue if you cannot solve a disagreement yourselves, like mediation or arbitration.
  3. Have an exit strategy. If one or both of you chooses to or is forced to leave the business, decide on how that should happen. You can outline these plans in a document like a shareholder agreement.
  4. Don't rely on informal agreements. There will be plenty of times that your unspoken bonds, familiarity and friendship with each other is going to be of great benefit, but do not forget that this is also an experience with considerable financial, legal and professional stakes. As such, make sure you have valid, enforceable agreements in place that provide a solid foundation for your business.

We also encourage readers who are thinking of starting a business with a friend to consult an attorney for legal guidance. Doing so can help you get your business -- and your business partnership -- started off on the right foot.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information

What Our Clients Are Saying About Us

  • “Everyone we came in contact with was wonderful. The staff and Russ treated us like family at all times.”

    - June S.
  • “Being new to the area having moved from out of state, I was searching for an attorney to assist in elder estate planning for my mother. I was referred to Russ Cook & Associates and found the firm as a whole and Russ Cook himself to be very helpful and accommodating to my needs, as well as experienced and very knowledgeable on the matter I was seeking assistance. I would definitely recommend Russ Cook and Associates.”

    - Brad H.
  • “Mr. Cook and his staff were phenomenal to work with on my will. They are extremely professional and friendly and made the process seamless. They go above and beyond!”

    - Amber C.
  • “Russ took the time to answer my questions by email, so that I knew exactly what would take place when I visited his office and his time as well as mine was used efficiently. I appreciated his thoroughness and his professionalism, as well as that of his staff.”

    - JoAnn G.
  • “Overwhelmingly positive experience.”

    - Stephen W.
Email Us For A Response

Schedule An Initial Consultation Today

Contact us today to schedule a consultation by sending us an email or by calling 615-200-9117.
We assist clients throughout the Nashville area.

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information
disclaimer.

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.

close

Privacy Policy

Brand Contact

5141 Virginia Way
Suite 220
Brentwood, TN 37027

Phone: 615-200-9117
Fax: 615-370-5938
Brentwood Law Office Map

Office Hours:
Monday: 8:00 AM – 4:30 PM
Tuesday: 8:00 AM – 4:30 PM
Wednesday: 8:00 AM – 4:30 PM
Thursday: 8:00 AM – 4:30 PM
Friday: 8:00 AM – 4:30 PM

Summer Hours Office:
8:00 AM - 1:00 PM on Fridays
May 24th Through August 30th

Map Image