Would Your Spouse Make A Good Business Partner?

business partnersStarting a business with a friend or member of your family isn’t always the best choice.   I’ve asked for your opinions on such topics as “Do Family Members Make Good Employees?” and “Would Your Parent Make An Ideal Employee?”.   Now, I have one last thought to get your opinion on.   Would you start a small business with your spouse or significant other?

I don’t know about you, but I could never work with my husband, let alone run a business together.   We both have very different opinions and a bit of a stubborn streak that would not blend well if we worked side by side.   It would be very difficult to agree on business decisions and I’m sure that would put a strain on our relationship.

Tamara Monosoff, a contributing author on WomenEntrepreneur.com, brought up this question in her article “Should You Go Into Business With Your Spouse?”.   There are a lot of points in Tamara’s article to consider seriously before taking this leap.   It would be a challenging journey but would it be worth it?   Do you think you could survive running a business with your “better half”?



15 Comments Would Your Spouse Make A Good Business Partner?

  1. Louie Bernstein

    I thought this was a great article and a subject I overlooked in my new eBook, How To Start A Business From Scratch…Without Having Any.

    My first job at the age of 10, was for a husband and wife. By midway through the day they were yelling at each other through gritted teeth.

    I’m not even crazy about having partners. I would make a spouse the last partner of choice.


  2. Chaitanya Sagar

    I respect Tamara’s views. But I think you should, as much as possible, avoid going into a venture with your spouse. I will tell you the most important ones.

    1. Carry over of emotions from work to personal life. [if you are married, you will understand this :)]
    2. Earnings – at least one of you should be earning well. If the venture sinks, the downside will hurt you worse than if one of you earns well.

  3. Don

    Chaitanya, that’s a good point about one person having a more stable income. Beyond that, if possible that person with the stable, dependable income would hopefully have medical insurance from their employer for their family needs.

  4. Rose Anderson

    I don’t think it is healthy to work with your spouse as business partner. It is very inevitable that as husband and wife, you will have a lot of personally problems. It is even very hard to control your problems in the office even dealing with non-related boss how much more if that boss is your spouse.

  5. Sanjay Kumar

    Interesting topic indeed. I consent – bad idea. There are already so many things that the spouses do together, stretching it to the business is a bit too much. When I started my business, I tried to involve my wife, but we ran into conflicts too soon. It was hard for both of us to not spill family issues into the business discussions which was not healthy. Work/business also provides an isolation from family and if you are working with your spouse, chances are that you would not have this isolation.

  6. Rose Anderson

    Exactly, Sanjay!

    The household issues alone are heavy for the couple to share and even stretch it out in business- it is really too much! Very unhealthy for the couple. IMO

  7. Chris

    Ha, ha! Interesting subject and in my case, I don’t think that would’ve worked. He had more of a broader view of things whereas I tended to be more detail oriented. We would’ve been constantly heading in two different directions.

  8. Carla

    I have helped my (life) partner out with his business a few times, but it was just that: help and assistance when he needed it; especially when I was unemployed. I don’t think it would ever work out as a joint venture though. Its difficult enough dealing with household issues together!

  9. Martin Lindeskog

    I have to find my romantic partner first and then see if it would work out! 🙂 I had a small hobby import business together with my girlfriend and later on fiancee. At that time it worked, but then our relationship ended. She wanted to break up due to the fact that she have had an affair.

    I have heard that couples in the network marketing industry have been successful when they are complementing each other and working like a dream time. It could be that one of them are doing presentation is doing the presentations and the other person is taking care of the administrative part of the business. It could also be that one is expert on one type of the range of products and the other person is taking care of the other products.

  10. Mary Grace Ignacio

    Well I believe this proposition has its own advantages and disadvantages. I know it’s quite hard and even how unhealthy it may seems, it usually depends on the couple. If both of them can complement each others’ attitude then I think it can be a successful partnership too. It really depends on the couple. In my case, I would love to work with my partner and that will be an additional time spent with each other. 🙂

  11. Rose Anderson

    Well, you also have your point Grace but I’m afraid it’s a only a few percentage who can be successful couple and business partners at the same time. However, the point is- it is still possible.

  12. Stephanie Kendrick

    I am 34 and have been with my husband 10 years. The past 5 we have worked together full time in construction, and will soon be starting our own business. It is all about compromise and repect for personal time. We are together all but a few hours a day, and sometimes it makes you crazy, but overall it’s been good. I’ve known other couples who have tried this and it did not work, so time will tell.

  13. E. Ridgway

    I went into business with my fiancee. What a HUGE mistake. He does nothing and leaves it all to me. I’m glad I didn’t marry him, but I’m still stuck with him while I try and keep it profitable so I can sell my share. We dated for 4 years before this venture, and I thought I knew him. I don’t reccommend going into business with a girl or boyfriend/husband,wife. Just because you both put up the money equally doesn’t mean they will step up and take half the responsibilites of a business. I wish I’d never let him smooth talk me into doing his dream for him. It’s a nightmare for me.


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