Before starting a business with your best friend

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Questions to ask before starting a business with your best friend





79 due diligence questions.


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General questions

  1. Why do you want to start this business together?
  2. Which assets does the other person bring to the table?
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Founder assessment and technical skills

  1. What are you willing to sacrifice to reach your goal? Financially, time-wise, etc.
  2. What motivates you?
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Leadership and teamwork

  1. How would you describe your working style?
  2. Do you enjoy taking on a leadership role?
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Personalities, feedback and communication

  1. Have you ever taken a personality test, i.e., Myers–Briggs, social styles, or similar tests?
  2. Are you risk-averse or a risk-taker?
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Ways of working

  1. Do you have a system of getting things done, using to-do lists, or other task management tools?
  2. Do you set goals for yourself?
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Areas of business

  1. What are your business strength areas?
  2. What are the areas in which you would need additional support and insights?
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Financial aspects

  1. How much personal liquidity would you be willing to commit to the business as a maximum amount?
  2. Do you expect to take a salary? If so, how much?
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Best-case scenarios

  1. What does the best-case scenario look like for you?
  2. If you had an interested buyer, would you consider selling the business - and if so, on what terms?
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Worst-case scenarios

  1. What does the worst-case scenario look like for you?
  2. If the company was in financial distress and required a capital injection, would you both be able and willing to go ahead with this? If only one of you were willing to do so, how would you handle that situation?
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Other questions to consider

  1. Would you consider taking on a third partner at a later stage?
  2. What tasks or projects would you consider outsourcing, if any? This could be e.g., auditing or brand and visual identity.
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Real talk

  1. What would hold you back from moving forward at this stage?
  2. Has your partner demonstrated any technical or financial capabilities or personality traits that worry you or that you think could cause disruption?
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