Am I missing something here?
July 21, 2011 1:45 PM Subscribe
Neighbor is hot to start a business with me. What precautions do I take?
posted by Buffaload to Work & Money (16 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
My neighbor is a serial entrepreneur/consultant/all-around bullshitter. I mean that in the best way possible. I do like the guy. Our families have socialized together. We borrow each other's lawn implements. Have beers on the front porch. Etc. I consider him a mensch. So he wants me to start a company with him ...
1) He wants to collaborate on a business plan. He has business acumen and a track record of getting clients. I have the subject-matter skills.
2) He doesn't want any money from me. We're talking about, basically, a creative services company that would exist online and be run out of our homes. He is willing to pay for the web infrastructure and marketing.
3) We've talked about money and have decided that, assuming we can get clients, we have several possibilities but haven't settled on anything yet: a) If I want to keep him at arm's length, it can be his business for which I would be a 1099 contractor, and he would get an agreed-upon cut of any business that he brings in.
b) I could help foot the (not terribly high, but not nothing) ongoing bills -- server, some small-time ads and marketing.
c) Something else?
Wait, wait a minute, a voice in my head says. I'm the creative person. What do I need him for? Isn't he just volunteering to be my pimp? Well, sort of. Except I have been trying to market my creative services myself for two years, and have had very, very limited success. So, if neighbor thinks he can help me, what do I have to lose by seeing where this goes?
Anybody's hackles go up over this one? I guess I'm asking because I feel pretty comfortable and eyes-wide-open about this, but maybe I should be more skeptical?
Should we execute any sort of legal agreement now? Is that putting the cart before the horse?