Business partners are people you work with. They are not family members, but some people think they can be. Businesses don’t have to be big to need a partner. But does it make sense for your spouse to be your business partner? Your relationship with your spouse is meaningful, and you want it to last forever. Business relationships can end just as easily as any other type of relationship, so what do you gain by making this decision?
There is no simple answer to this question, but here are some things you should consider before deciding if your spouse should be your business partner:
1. Business partnerships usually involve more than just money
Business people use their personal or family savings, which could mean selling property or taking out a loan for the partnership. It is the same way with marriage; only there is much more at stake than just money and time invested in a business relationship.
Money isn’t everything. If you have enough money to start your own business without needing any from your spouse, it will make sense to do that. You can still have a business relationship with your spouse, just not the partnership kind where both people have an equal say in things. Business partnerships are more than just about money. But it is a factor that cannot be ignored.
2. Business relationships use up personal time
When you get married, you marry your partner’s whole family and probably make some friends who will become part of your “family” also. Do you want to include their business partners too? When you get business partners, they get involved in all aspects of your life—why give them this power?
3. Businesses end all the time
Businesses end every day because something new comes along or someone makes a mistake and goes bankrupt. Would you want to open the door for your spouse to divorce you by taking away a large part of their life—your business? Business relationships are unstable and can end without warning. This is true for all businesses, but especially true when the second party is a family member who has a hard time understanding this type of relationship.
4. Business partners may not always agree with each other
There will be agreement and disagreement in marriage. That’s fine as long as it doesn’t cause too many arguments or problems in your relationship. Business relationships can end because one partner disagrees with something. In most cases, people put enormous trust into their business partners, which opens them up to disagreements that they would typically not face if they worked alone. Businesses end when the partners cannot agree on a direction for their company, which is why some businesses get into trouble. Business relationships are more complicated than marriage, and it might be a good idea to leave them separate if your spouse is against it.
5. Businesses take time away from family
In most marriages, there needs to be a balance between work and home life. It will be difficult for this balance to exist if you have a business partner who also wants their fair share of attention from you! Business demands can interfere with family life, making it harder for both people in the relationship because they need to put in too much effort at work or home—not enough resources available, so someone has to give. Business relationships can destroy marriages by taking away time that could be used for other activities, such as spending time with your spouse and children.
6. Business partnerships can lead to divorce
This is the big one. Business relationships are a great way to start divorce proceedings. This is especially true if you or your spouse are not happy with the business decisions or if the partnership isn’t working out. Business partnerships can easily become grounds for a divorce, so think long and hard before making this decision and finding yourself contacting a divorce lawyer.
So should your spouse be your business partner? The answer is complicated, but there are a few things to consider first. Business partnerships involve more than just money and can take away time from family life. Businesses have a high rate of failure and can lead to divorce—both of which are not good for a marriage. Business relationships easily become the grounds for divorce, so think long and hard before making this decision. A business relationship can work out fine if you don’t get too involved in each other’s lives or if it is kept on the side. This will take some careful planning, though.
Remember that there are significant benefits to working with your spouse, especially if they understand how business works and what needs to happen to succeed. Business partnerships allow you to be on equal footing when starting your own business while also bringing extra support into the mix. Business relationships should always remain separate from family life because it can destroy marriages by taking away time that could be used for other activities, such as spending time with your spouse and children. If you can manage to keep the two separate, then give it a try. But be prepared for things to get messy if it doesn’t work out.