Having a business partner isn’t always easy. Even if the two of you are friends, differences in values, communication styles and preferred ways of doing things can end up causing conflict.

That said, when you’re anticipating going into business with a partner, there are things you can do to prepare so your partnership can thrive. Here are five tips for building a lasting relationship with business partners.

1. Before you start, have legal counsel help you write up a partnership agreement. A business is a legal venture, and you should have legal documentation in place so there’s a paper trail answering questions that may come up (especially if things wind up going south). Some things partnership agreements typically cover are who will contribute what to start the business, equity shares, profit and loss distribution, what authority each partner has, and other important details.

2. Make sure you’ll both be gaining something from your arrangement. Do your skills and personalities complement one another? Are you comfortable sharing responsibilities, or do you like to oversee everything yourself? Ultimately, will you be better off together than you are alone?

3. Set clear expectations for the day-to-day operations of the business. Who will be responsible for what? Are there specific processes to follow while carrying out certain tasks? The last thing you want is for things to slip through the cracks because both partners expected the other one to do it.

4. Think about your clients’ needs and how each of you can best fill those needs. The most important part of any business is the customers. Focus on what each of you can do to best serve them with the strengths you possess.

5. If things aren’t working out, it’s okay to part ways. It doesn’t mean either of you have failed–just that you’re not compatible working on a business together. Shake hands and move on.

Are you and a business partner planning to start a company together? Contact Vankeith Commercial Capital to discuss financing plans.