They say that two heads are better than one. Buying a limo company with a partner can mean splitting the cost, workload, and risks associated with going into business. Unfortunately, it can also mean doubling the trouble.
Different people will naturally have different ideas about how to manage, operate, and expand a company. While it’s fine to disagree once in a while, how you handle those disagreements will ultimately define the success of your relationship. Before you sign on to share your chauffeur business with another person – be it a business associate or a spouse – make sure the partnership is organized so that both parties are protected.
Pick the right person
All too often, business buyers bring their friends or spouses on board, only to end up having a falling out that damages the business and the relationship. Successful partnerships between spouses and pals do exist, but they must be based on shared values, integrity, and trust. The best business partner isn’t necessarily related, but is someone who boosts your financial position, brings a strong business sense to the table, and shares your long-run goals. Like a strong marriage, a strong business partnership isn’t about being always in agreement, but about being able to listen and compromise for the greater good of the union.
Get on the same page
You and your partner both want to see your transportation business succeed, but you may have different ideas and abilities for getting there. It’s normal for owners to contribute varying amounts of time, money, and skill to a shared business. However, problems can arise when partners’ responsibilities aren’t well defined. If one partner contributes financially while another handles the lion’s share of day-to-day operations, for instance, the working partner may become resentful. Clearly laying out responsibilities and ownership shares in advance can prevent this kind of animosity. In addition to duties and contributions, it’s also important to discuss long-run objectives. If one partner is content to earn a living wage, but the other aspires to become the biggest and best limo business in the state, the partnership may be doomed from the start. Of course, none of this is official if you don’t get it in writing – the last and most important step to setting up a partnership.
Get it in writing
Before buying a limousine business with another person, be sure to draft a partnership agreement with the help of a professional transaction attorney. In many cases, one partner will opt to leave before the other, whether it’s due to a disagreement, lifestyle change, or medical issue. A partnership agreement legally protects the business by stipulating the terms of a voluntary departure, specifying what will happen in the event of a death or disablement, and identifying how any disagreements will be handled. The partnership agreement is also where you’ll want to include the expectations and rights of each partner.
When your business partnership is fresh and new, it may seem strange to plan for if and when you part ways. But organizing your partnership will pay off. In the best case scenario, you’ll have a better understanding of each person’s hopes and goals. In the worst case scenario, you’ll be in a better position to protect both parties in the event of a departure or irresolvable disagreement. Either way, a well-planned partnership is a win-win.