You have a great idea for a new business, but you know you need to balance passion with wisdom. A wise idea is to choose a business partner who has the experience that you lack.

How do you find the right person to be your business partner? Here is a guide you can use:

  1. Find someone with the same value system. Your partnership won’t go far if you have wildly different values and beliefs. A jointly held vision of the future — and your new company’s place in it — is essential for success.
  2. Make sure that you have different strengths. You want a partner whose skills complement your own. That way, you can more easily create something that transcends both of your individual abilities.
  3. Talk honestly and openly about your vision and your distinct roles. It can be really tempting to table the hard conversations until you’ve worked together longer, but that can set a terrible precedent. Plus, you want to know that the person you chose as partner is capable of having mature discussions about boundaries.
  4. Find out if the other party is financially stable. You may be hesitant to throw stones, especially if you’re opening your doors on a shoestring budget. However, not all financial risks are alike. If your prospective partner has creditors calling or stalking their doorstep, that could negatively affect your business.
  5. Be willing to put everything in writing. If your business partner doesn’t want a formal agreement regarding your roles, rights and obligations, that’s generally a bad sign.

Once you’ve found the partner who can help you make your dream a reality, find out how an experienced attorney can help you set up your partnership agreement and find the right business structure for your needs.