How To Find a Business Partner

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Running a business by yourself can be time-consuming and challenging. You can’t be an expert at everything, so it helps to bring on board an additional person who can complement your skills. If you have built your business from scratch, it’s natural to want a business partner who will take your projects just as seriously and have a similar vision to expand the company.

Fortunately, the internet has made finding the right business partner easier than ever. Whether you’re a new business owner seeking an expert, or a veteran looking for more hands on deck, here are the best ways to find an appropriate business partner.

Key Takeaways

  • Business partnerships can lighten your workload and offer tax benefits.
  • Look for a compatible, skilled, and financially secure business partner.
  • You can find a partner within your existing networks or use technology to search.
  • Have an agreement in place in case the partnership doesn’t work out.

The Benefits of a Business Partner

Running a business comes with several responsibilities that can overwhelm a single owner, so having a business partner can lighten the load, said Urška Sršen, co-founder of Bellabeat, in an email to The Balance. Such sharing of roles can also help you work around each other’s strengths and compensate for the weaknesses. For example, at Bellabeat, Sršen handles product design while her business partner deals with strategy and finance. This kind of role division works particularly well when both partners specialize in different aspects of the business.

Another major benefit of having a business partner is that you get access to new ideas and fresh perspectives. “Two heads are often better than one when it comes to making decisions,” said Christopher Panteli who works with a business partner on several online ventures. “Two people working together can come up with more creative solutions to problems.”

Having a business partner also comes with tax benefits. A business partnership is considered a pass-through tax entity. This means the partnership does not have to pay an income tax. Rather, the profits and losses are passed on to the owners.

What To Look for in a Business Partner

Choosing the right business partner can take some time and effort, but it’s important to find someone who matches your values, shares your business vision, and effectively compensates for your weaknesses.

Here are the important qualities to look for in a business partner.


You can find the most talented business partner in the world, but if you’re not compatible, it will be challenging to run a company together. The best way to know if your potential business partner is compatible with you is to freely talk about your business goals, working styles, and long-term visions. “Discuss expectations and potential problems upfront so there are no surprises down the road,” Panteli said.

If you’re not on the same page about key business decisions, it can create conflict and adversely affect the business. “Sharing a similar entrepreneurial spirit and core values is important because a great business idea can end up being lost due to a poor working relationship,” said Mila Garcia, co-founder of iPaydayLoans.

Business Skills and Experience

It can be tempting to look for a business partner who has worked in the same industry on similar projects to ensure they have the right mix of skills and experience required. But don’t find someone that is just like you, said Travis Vaughan, co-founder of Tourbase, in an email to The Balance. “Find someone with complementary strengths.” 

For example, if you’re good at finance but lack marketing knowledge, work with someone who has a marketing background. Similarly, if you’re creative but struggle to manage legal and administrative matters, partner with a legal expert. This way, you can have each other’s backs and ensure your business is a success in every way.

Financial Stability

Running a business can be financially risky, so you don’t want to partner with someone who is already struggling with their finances. A business partnership often requires sharing of expenses and profits, which can be tricky if one partner is living paycheck to paycheck while the other has ample disposable income. So along with emotional and business compatibility, look for financial stability.


Don’t try to go for the richest partner. Having more capital doesn’t necessarily make someone a better partner if their values don’t align with yours.

Where and How To Find a Business Partner

Once you have decided on the type of business partner you need to look for, it’s time to do the actual searching. There are several ways to do this.

Ask Someone in Your Existing Network

Don’t underestimate the power of your existing networks. You can often find good connections by asking the people you already work with. Reach out to your colleagues, friend circles, mentors, and relationships you make via business networking to find potential matches, Sršen said. 

Attend Conferences

Attending industry events such as trade shows, business conferences, and product launches can help you connect with like-minded people who can become your business partners or introduce you to someone. “You can also find the ideal partner at startup accelerator programs, as these initiatives often have budding entrepreneurs who share a similar level of interest and passion as well as fit the knowledge/skills criteria you are looking for,” Garcia said.

Search Online

Leverage technology to find the right business partner. Put it on your social media, publish ads, and conduct a targeted search to find someone with the skills and experience you need. Career platforms such as LinkedIn can also help you find suitable matches either through your existing network or by directly searching for the right keywords.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is an HR business partner?

An HR business partner is different from an HR department in a company. While an Human Resources department focuses on everyday employee needs, an HR partner plays a large role. The HR partner focuses on handling large-scale people-focused initiatives such as talent acquisition.

How do you get rid of a 50/50 business partner?

Ending a business partnership requires a lot of thought and planning because you can’t simply “fire” your partner. Ideally, you defined plans for partner dissolution or break up in your original agreement. This might include a right of first refusal as you try to sell your shares in the company. If your partner isn't pulling their weight, you can point to the minimum work requirement you both agreed upon. If you and your partner can’t settle on an exit strategy, you may need to hire a mediator to distribute assets.

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  1. IRS. “Tax Information for Partnerships.”

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