Managing Strategic Partnerships

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While Scottish general partnerships have separate legal personalities from the partners, the partners have unlimited liability to creditors for all the partnerships’ debts. Partner organizations must acknowledge that the scope of the relationship is likely to shift over time. This will be the case whether the partners are in a single- or multiasset venture, expect that services will be shared, anticipate expansion, or have any geographic, regulatory, or structural complexities.

When starting a business, the secret to the success of every partnership agreement is rooted in trust and respect between the two partners. You must be able to trust the decision making, temperament, vision, and competence of your partner and vice versa. Make sure to respect one another’s abilities and personalities. To save the partnership, the roles of the partners need to be more carefully defined, separated, and respected, and better coordination needs to be established.

Bringing in a CEO from the outside can be a good solution, as one company with too many chiefs found. In this family business a sister and two brothers with different viewpoints were active in top management. The husband of another sister worked at a lower level but felt he should speak up if he felt decisions were made that went against his wife’s interests. The differences of opinion among the family members were so great that perhaps only their staggered, lengthy vacations allowed the business to bump along.

According to a 2006 article, the first partnership was implemented in 1383 by Francesco di Marco Datini, a merchant of Prato and Florence. The Covoni company ( ) and the Del Buono-Bencivenni company ( ) have also been referred to as early partnerships, but they were not formal partnerships. Before starting a partnership, know exactly what each business does and how your brands align. Form an alliance which has a way of setting goals and simultaneously propagating the objectives of each business.

Be specific and realistic as you answer this question—sacrificing sleep and sanity could lead to burnout before your business even gets off the ground. Partners are not employees and shouldn’t be issued a Form W-2. The partnership must furnish copies of Schedule K-1 to the partner. An internal claim is a demand for payment that can be brought against a company but not against the owners of the company. Partnerships must file with the state in which they do business and are governed mostly by state laws. Partners may be individuals, groups of individuals, companies, and corporations.

One of the most important aspects of a good business partnership is shared short-term and long-term values. This doesn’t mean you have to agree on everything but too many disagreements can hurt the business over the long term. A limited liability limited partnership is a newer form ofpartnership.

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