#1: Unmet Expectations. The typical startup business will take a lot more time and money to become profitable than anyone ever expects.

#2: Work Style Conflicts. Even though friends get along great when hanging out at the bar, this compatibility may not resonate in the office environment.

#3: Business Strategy Disagreements. New startup partners tend to be well aligned to the grander goals of an organization, but rarely have worked through the nitty gritty details of how to achieve these goals.

#4: Spending Conflicts. One of the most common areas of disagreement is spending authority and budget priorities.

#5: No Way Out. What happens when one partner wants to sell out, quit or reduce involvement in the business?

A recent Forbes article, titled “Co-Founding With a Friend – – Without Decimating a Friendship,” shares a few words of wisdom from successful businesses founded by friends. One startup says “when making decisions, we make the conscious decision to not be disrespectful because at the end of the day, we want to stay friends.” Another startup recognizes the importance of keeping work and personal lives separate.

In short, to avoid these business and friendship ending misunderstandings, it is important to discuss all issues that might interfere with productive business building.

Philip J. Kavesh
Nationally recognized attorney helping clients with customized estate planning guidance for over 40 years.
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