Many of the clients I advise are in partnerships. It is a common situation. Two or more people get together to solve a problem and the next thing you know a partnership is born. If you listen to the first-time partners, they will tell you their priorities are to get the product into the market and grow the business. If you listen to partners who have been through years of business together, you will hear something different.
What older, wiser partners will tell you is to plan the divorce. It is coming. It is guaranteed. At some point the partnership must end. Whether for reasons of death, indifference, disagreement, or a multitude of other reasons, it will happen. The key these wise people will tell you is to plan the divorce in advance. Setting the value of the company and how one partner might buy out another partner well in advance sets the rules if things go bad. I sincerely hope that things will not go bad for you in your partnership. But in case they do, have the ground rules set in advance.
My good friend Rush Nigut at Brick Gentry has presented on this topic many times in the past. Check out the video of him on this subject “Rush Nigut on Partnering” for an in-depth analysis of why this is so critical and how you can protect yourself.