You have dreams of starting a business, are working out the details, or have been in thick of your vision for years now. 

Are you a sole business owner? That’s great, but if you’ve been considering bringing on a partner to help carry the load?

Are you searching for a business partner with the same dreams and goals in mind?

Do you think you’ve found the perfect partner to make your business idea a reality?

Before you and your future partner sign the dotted line to go into business together, make sure they have the right intentions, and fit your goals. If this potential partner is a spouse, sibling, relative, or close friend, you should take an extra close look. Just because you have a great relationship with someone, that doesn’t mean they have the traits to run a business with you successfully.

Five traits that make the right business partner

While your partner doesn’t need to possess every one of the traits listed below, the more, the merrier.

  1. Non-verbal communicator: Being able to get your point across in a professional manner is very important for business partners. But if you two can communicate with just a look or a gesture, that could give you a leg up in many business situations.
  2. Plugging your weaknesses: This business was your idea, but even though I dare to say it, you probably aren’t an expert at everything. None of us are. We all have strengths and weaknesses. If you can find a business partner that has skills that you don’t, the business will be better off. When you are always trying to strengthen your weaknesses, your actual strengths can become average. In that scenario, nobody wins.
  3. You both have the same goals: Priorities are important. Does your potential or current partner have the same fire raging inside them? Whether you want your business to be a side-gig or full-time job, your priorities must match. Your vision must match. If they don’t, the passion of your partner will diminish, or they will try to overtake the business if your values don’t align. You and your partner must also consider other elements that matter in the face of turning a profit, like family, relationships, and depending on your venture, the environment.
  4. They can compromise and handle constructive criticism: You two will disagree numerous times. Can you and your partner find a solution without a blowup or other childish action? Great business partners can work out differences in the name of success. Sometimes compromises and criticisms must be made and accepted to grow.
  5. Skepticism: If your prospective partner doesn’t ask questions and immediately wants to jump in, lookout. Being skeptical and wanting to understand the details is a sign of someone who wants to know what they’re getting themselves into. That’s a good thing.

Lastly, don’t let age get in your way. If your partner is a good fit, their millennial or baby boomer status shouldn’t matter—experience and ingenuity matters. Different ages can bring different perspectives. Allow your desire to succeed, business plan, and the traits listed above make the final decision.