What should you do when you don’t share the same vision of your startup with your co-founder?

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My answer to What should you do when you don’t share the same vision of your startup with your co-founder?

Answer by Ken Larson:

Develop an operating agreement.

Your equity arrangements as well as many other important factors will evolve by developing a business plan and an operating agreement as a team.

Develop a business plan together using the below tool kit:

How to Write a Business Plan

Free Business Plan Samples

Then develop the operating agreement, which is a separate document, not controlled or required by the state or the federal government, but very important to your company. It should be a simple, straightforward document you and your prospective partner(s) can draft yourselves, addressing such matters as % of ownership, how revenue will be distributed and other general matters, as well as who can commit the company in the form of credit cards, who signs checks on the company account and other administrative matters. Buying out a partner should also be covered as well as adding new members if the need arises down the road.

I have seen many enterprises fail or go through terrifically hard times due to lack of an operating agreement. The parties should sign it after a review by a lawyer. It should then be notarized and made an official part of the company file. You can download a generic operating agreement at the second, vertical, Box Net “References” cube in the left margin of the site linked below:

SMALL BUSINESS FEDERAL GOVERNMENT CONTRACTING (SBFGC)

It is for an LLC but you could modify it for other types of corporations. You can feel free to borrow from the sample or supplement it as you see fit. It is fairly comprehensive in order to cover most business situations and there may be elements of the example you feel are not necessary.

What should you do when you don’t share the same vision of your startup with your co-founder?

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About rosecoveredglasses

2 Tours in US Army Vietnam. Retired from 36 Years in the Defense Industrial Complex after working on 25 major weapons systems, many of which are in use today in the Middle East. Volunteer MicroMentor. I specialize in Small, Veteran-owned, Minority-Owned and Woman-Owned Businesses beginning work for the Federal Government. MicroMentor is a non-profit organization offering free assistance to small business in business planning, operations, marketing and other aspects of starting and successfully operating a small enterprise. You can set up a case with me at MicroMentor by going to: http://www.micromentor.org/ key words: "Federal Government Contracting"

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