I was recently given the interesting analogy that partnerships are like icebergs. You can see what is above, but what really matters is below the surface, because in an iceberg, there is a lot more ice below than above. In a partnership, there is a lot more below the surface than above the surface.
There is much to think about in partnerships. We have discussed planning for the things that are likely to happen in partnerships: the four D’s, death, disability, divorce, disagreement, and we make sure we have plans in place to protect ourselves in these various situations. Remembering the iceberg analogy is a great way to realize that while looking at the surface, there is a lot of stuff below the surface. Look deeper. Ask those hard questions. Understand what everybody is doing and make sure that all are working together as a team. Know what is below the surface so that it does not derail us.
Partnerships can be great. We know that. You can add much value by having a team come together, and you can do more as a group than you can as individuals. Still, we don’t want to be derailed by something unexpected below the surface. Think about the iceberg next time you’re considering a partnership. What is below? What are you missing? What do you need to be thinking more about?
Join us in the comments below and let us know what your experience has been. Have you found hidden issues in partnerships? What will you do differently in the future?
Each case is unique. Past results do not guarantee future outcomes. This posting is intended to be a tool to familiarize readers with some of the issues discussed herein. This is not meant to be a comprehensive discussion and additional details should be discussed with your attorneys, accountants, consultants, bankers and other business planners who can provide advice for your circumstances. Each case is unique. Past results do not guarantee future outcomes. This article should not be treated as legal advice to any person or entity. FreeImages.com/photographer Magdalena Pawlowska.
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