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If you’re starting a new business, perhaps nothing is more important than picking the right business partner. This decision can set you up for success or failure. It can define the company culture and the opportunities that you have. You must find the right person.

How do you do it? Here are a few tips that can help:

  • If you can, spend some time working with this individual before the two of you form your own company. Get to know each other. Find out more about their work habits. Make sure you enjoy that experience before committing to it long-term.
  • Find someone who shares your overall goals. It’s about more than just making money. What is your company about? Where do you want to take it? Why type of company culture do you crave? You need to work with someone who shares that vision.
  • Choose someone who does the things that you can’t do. If you both have different talents, the business will be stronger. Maybe you’re a people person and you’re great at making connections and networking, but you’re not good at the behind-the-scenes paperwork. You need someone who can take care of the details for you.
  • Think about the financial side. Starting a business isn’t cheap. How will you get funding? Can you both invest equally in the business? You need to agree on your roles and financial obligations in advance.

Once you find the right person to start your business with this year, make sure you understand exactly what legal steps the two of you are going to have to take.