Forming a Partnership: And Making It Work / Edition 1

Forming a Partnership: And Making It Work / Edition 1

by Ira Nottonson, Nottonson Ira

ISBN-10: 1599180715

ISBN-13: 9781599180717

Pub. Date: 02/08/2007

Publisher: Entrepreneur Press

Making Partnerships Work

Most partnership books focus on the technical aspects of "how to." The more important question is "how do." How do I make this succeed? Experienced corporate attorney Ira Nottonson covers both areas by exploring real-life examples that have generated success or failure in numerous partnership situations. Nottonson offers you a complete


Making Partnerships Work

Most partnership books focus on the technical aspects of "how to." The more important question is "how do." How do I make this succeed? Experienced corporate attorney Ira Nottonson covers both areas by exploring real-life examples that have generated success or failure in numerous partnership situations. Nottonson offers you a complete do-it-yourself guide to forming a partnership as well as the critical information necessary to navigate the various partnership relationships and make them work.

Nottonson covers:

  • Putting the partnership together
  • Bringing a partner into a new or existing venture
  • Smart strategies for dividing responsibilities and profits
  • Joint ventures, implicit partnerships, investors and family
  • Building a decision protocol
  • Cash flow for growth and profit

Give yourself a business advantage as Nottonson takes you step by step through the legal and personal issues of forming a partnership.

Critical Checklists and Sample Contracts on CD-ROM!

Sample documents include:

  • General Partnership Agreement
  • Partner Ledger
  • Minutes of Partnerships Meeting Form
  • Action of Written Consent of Partners
  • Summary of the Uniform Partnership Act
  • State of Delaware Certificate of Limited Partnership

Plus critical checklists for:

  • Analysis of Partnership
  • Developing a Partnership
  • Reviewing Cash Flow
  • Protecting Proprietary Information
  • Arbitration and Mediation
  • Building a Decision Protocol
  • Bringing in New Partners
  • Family Partnerships
  • Attracting Investors
  • And more!

For more than 28 years, Entrepreneur has provided the most trusted business advice available to business owners. Our legal guides continue that tradition by offering current and cost-effective legal information so you can resolve the business and legal issues you face on a daily basis. We'll also strive to help you identify when it's in your best interest to seek the personalized advice and services of a practicing lawyer.

Ira N. Nottonson is a Law Review graduate of Boston College Law School. His consulting practice specializes in startups and the buying, selling, valuation and reconstruction of small businesses. HE has acted in different capacities for many companies including CEO, COO and chief legal counsel. Past clients include International House of Pancakes, Orange Julius of America, House of Pies and PIP Printing. Nottonson has also owned five different businesses.

Product Details

Entrepreneur Press
Publication date:
Entrepreneur Magazine's Legal Guide Series
Edition description:
Book & CD
Product dimensions:
7.40(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.89(d)

Table of Contents

Preface     xvii
The Partnership: Formation and Implications of the Legal Partnership
A Simple Analysis of Partnership: Compared to Other Legal Entities     3
The Prerogatives and Obligations of Operating a Business     5
Sole Proprietorship and General Partnership     6
Joint and Several Liability     6
Corporation     7
Subchapter S Corporation     9
Board of Directors     9
Limited Partnership     11
Limited Liability Company     11
Short- and Long-Term Goals     12
Other Classes of Stock     13
Developing Your Partnership     15
About Limited Liability     16
Being Too Smart by Half     17
The Concept of Taxation     17
The Bottom Line     18
The Partnership Relationship     19
The Partnership Relationships: All the Relationships Involved in Surviving and Succeeding in the Modern Business Community
You Can't Do It All Yourself     23
Being the Coach of the Team     24
Cross-Training     25
The Virtual Office and Outsourcing     25
The Bare Beginning of the Game     26
Understanding the Basics     26
Can You Do It byYourself?     27
Building the Framework     28
Protecting Your Intellectual Property     28
Business, Family, and Partnership     31
The Classic Partnership Picture     33
What's on Tomorrow's Agenda?     33
The Alternative of Partnering Up     35
Getting to Know You     35
The Payoff Is On Results     36
Bringing a Partner into a New Venture     37
What Percentage of Total Assets Is Each Putting In?     40
Making Sure They Can Afford It     40
The Comparative Analysis     41
What Is the Equivalent Experience and Expertise?     42
Settling Disputes     42
Disparity Between Partners' Aspirations in the Later Stages of Growth     43
Bringing a Partner into an Existing Business     45
The Learning Curve     47
The Equity Positions     48
Liking the Business     48
What If Your Partner Doesn't Like the Business?     49
Buying Back a Portion of the Exiting Partner's Equity     50
Diluting the Stock of Both Partners to Bring in Another Investor     50
The Question of a Probationary Period     51
The Question of Taxes and the Law      52
The Majority Vote     52
Putting the Partnership Together     55
Does Each Partner Have the Same Goals?     57
Setting Yourself Up to Fail or Succeed     57
The Fear of Failure     57
The Partnership Relationship: Putting It All Together     58
Synergy vs. Authority     59
The Biggest Word with a Capital T     59
The Peter Principle     60
Hiring a New Person     60
The Fear Aspect of Business...and How to Handle It     61
What Are You Looking For?     61
Enjoying the Game     62
Keeping Your "Real" Partners in the Game     65
Family Members as "Partners"     67
The Problem with Expectations     67
Working with Family     68
A Question of Priorities     69
It's the Old Equation     69
Quality Time vs. Plenty of Time     70
Getting, Using, and Protecting the Money     71
The Incremental Investment     72
Sharing the Equity vs. Borrowing the Money     73
On the Other Hand     73
Inviting a Partner or Hiring an Expert     74
Hiring the Persen     74
Retaining the Outsource     75
Bringing in the Partner     75
The Differences between the Alternatives     75
Trust: Difficult to Earn, Easy to Lose     83
The Slippery Slope     84
Trust Is the Highest Priority     85
Straight from the Shoulder     85
The Key to Dependability     86
Breaking Your Word     86
Review Cash Flow Constantly for Growth and Profit     89
What Is Cash Flow All About?     90
Creating a Cash-Flow Analysis     91
Receivable Turnover Period     92
The Nickels and the Dimes     93
The Little Dollars     93
On the Commercial Side     93
The Bigger Costs     94
Don't Close Your Eyes     94
Movin' Too Fast     95
Learning to Go with the Grow     95
Changing the Protocols     96
Spending in Order to Earn     96
Counting the Nickels     97
Cutting into the Future     97
Cutting Again into the Future     97
The Nickels for the Dollars     97
Monitoring Your Margins     98
Cost-Effective Time Frames     99
Even in the Manufacturing Sector     99
The Components Are "Over the Top"     99
Remember the Name of the Game     100
There Is Light at the End of the Tunnel     100
The Joint Venture or Strategic Alliance Is a Partnership     103
Synergy: 2 + 2 = 9     105
The Joint Venture or Strategic Alliance     105
The Problem     105
Nondisclosure with Penalty: Liquidated Damages     106
Second-Chair Concept     109
Preparation to Define the Relationship     110
Watch Out for the Small Print     110
Don't Forget the Content     111
Collateral Elements     111
The Subcontracting Element     112
The Strategic Alliance     112
The Possibility of Acquisition or Merger     113
Implicit Partnerships: The Franchise     115
Franchisor to the Table     118
The Profit Picture     119
A Franchise, for Good Reason     119
Absence of an Exit Strategy     120
The Problem of the Franchise Contract     120
After the Dance Is Over     121
And, Just in Case     122
The Franchisor's Extra Margin of Profit     122
Don't Forget the Good Things     123
Inability to Compete     124
The Litigation Alternative     125
What Is the Answer?     125
Protecting Proprietary Information: Noncompete Clauses     127
Can You Really Protect Against Disclosure?     130
Can You Stop an Employee from "Crossing the Street"?     131
Industrial Espionage and the Subtler Problem     131
The Question of Enforcement     132
The Real Answers     132
What the Court Looks For     133
Is the Recovery Merely in Terms of Dollars?     133
Sharing Financial Information Generally     133
Sharing with Your Banker, Your Lawyer, Your Accountant     134
Selling the Business     134
Sharing Information with Your Vendors     134
Protecting Financial Information from Your Competitors     135
Building a Business with or without Partners     137
Opposite Sides of the Coin     139
The Next Question     140
Better to Build or Buy a Business?     140
Cash Flow Is the Key     140
The Advantage to Acquisition     141
Affiliation as an Alternative; the Unauthorized Franchise     141
Don't Forget about Joint Ventures and Strategic Alliances     142
The "Active" vs. the "Passive" Partner     142
The Business Plan, Again     143
Entering a Partnership Relationship in Another Way     143
Big Pie or Little Pie?     144
Putting It in Writing     147
The Definition of a Contract...Not for the Ill-Intentioned     148
Operating Agreements and Bylaws     149
Prerogatives and Obligations     149
The Partnership Game Plan     150
The Equipment Lease     150
What about Maintenance?     151
What about the "Other" Lease?     152
The Informal Contract     152
Even for Employees     153
Equal Dignity for the Family     154
Being Deceived by Your Partner: Why Trust Is So Important     157
Misrepresentation     159
Deception     159
Language in the Contract     160
The Critical Time Frame     160
Decisions Based on the Evidence     161
Preponderance of the Evidence     161
Beyond a Reasonable Doubt     161
In the Business Context     162
What about the Bigger Picture?     162
With Respect to Partnerships     163
Parents as Partners: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly     165
All In the Family     166
The Basis of the Relationship     167
Investing Is One Thing     167
A Contract Is Not for the Ill-Intentioned     168
Working Together     169
The Reverse of the Generation Gap     169
The Root of the Problem     170
Sibling to Sibling     170
Arbitration and Mediation     173
The First Order of Business     175
Conflict Resolution     177
Background and Experience     177
Arbitration     178
Managers as Owners: And Other Partnership Relationships     181
The Manager as Owner: Perception vs. Reality     183
The Salesperson Relationship: The "Partner" You Didn't Count On     183
The Real Problem with Loyalty     184
Understanding and Dealing with the Loyalty Challenge     184
How Then, Can I Deal with This?     185
The Problem with Vendors     186
The Problem with the Family     186
The Problem with Bankers     187
The Problem with Investors     187
The Problem with Customers      188
The Problem with Employees     188
Diamonds Are Forever; Partnerships Are Not     191
Many Reasons to Revisit the Original Partnership Concept     193
Anticipating the Problem     193
The Buyout     194
Right of First Refusal     195
The Question of Money     195
Is There a Way to Do This?     196
Another Approach to Take     197
Protecting Against Dissolution     199
What Makes a Partnership Fair?     199
Diversity of Expectations     199
Return of the Dollar     200
Divorce in a Partnership     200
The Ultimate Revisiting     201
Building a Decision Protocol     203
The Time Frame Differential     205
The Negative of Accelerated Growth     205
The Hidden Part of the Equation     206
A Good Time to Think     206
A Good Idea to Rethink Before It's Too Late     207
Businesspeople     207
Growing in the Wrong Direction     209
The Abnormal Fear of Competition     210
Ideas Are Cheap     211
Money, the Necessary Component     211
On the Other Hand      212
The Timing Problem     212
Incremental vs. Accelerated Growth     213
Growth by Acquisition     214
The Investor and the Business Plan     215
The Small Investor Problem     216
The Big Investors     217
What Some Big Investors Are Looking For     217
What Other Investors Are Looking For     218
The Advantages vs. Disadvantages of an Investor Getting Involved     218
Getting the Investor in the First Place     219
"Everything Will Probably Work Out" (It Usually Won't)     219
Writing a Business Plan     220
Remember the Purpose     220
What the Package Should Look Like     221
Don't Ask Someone Else to Build the Plan     221
The Most Significant Parts     221
What Should It Look Like?     222
Selling the Business: To the Clone or the Big Guy?     229
It Should be "In the Works" the Day You Start Your Business     231
Value as a Secondary Issue     231
The Buyer: An All-Important Element     231
A Likely Candidate Right at Home     232
Assessing the Risk     232
A Word about the Franchise     233
The Flesh and the Skeleton      233
Different Kinds of Security     234
What Other Security?     234
Thinking about Tomorrow     235
Monitoring the Buyer     235
A Plethora of Candidates     236
Buying an Existing Business     236
Negotiating Too Hard     237
Do You Want a "Clone" or a "Big Guy"?     237
The Numbers Must Speak for You     238
Every Buyer Is Looking for Something Special     238
Start Early with the Most Logical Candidates     239
Start Planning Long Before You Start Selling     239
The Asset Sale vs. the Stock Sale     240
The Last-and Biggest-Concern     241
The Phantom Partnership     243
Sale of a Professional Practice by Creating a Phantom Partnership     245
The Business Valuation     246
The Equipment Conundrum     247
Expenses Against Revenues     247
Bringing in New Partners: The Equity Split     249
Maintaining Control     251
The Tax Implications     252
Shares Are Securities     252
What Does Percentage of Ownership Mean?     253
How the Decision Makers Are Chosen     253
Earnings vs. Entitlements     253
Dilution     254
Right of First Refusal     254
Increasing the Value by the Partner's Contribution     255
Being Creative in Building a Formula     257
Especially Effective for Family     258
Is There More Than One Way to Value a Business?     259
Mistaken Concept     259
Sales Are Not the Indicator     260
Borrowing the Money     260
Repaying the Purchase Price Based on Risk     261
The Purpose of Your Financial Paperwork     261
The Bottom-Line Profit     262
Reconstituting the Profit and Loss Statement     262
The Risk Factor     263
The Buyer Is Another Key     264
The Computation     264
The Bottom Line Rises Again     265
On the Other Hand     265
Protecting the Business     266
When the Judicial System Becomes Your Partner     269
The New Business Marketplace     270
The Nondisclosure and Copyright     271
Date of First Use     271
The Quicker Fixer     271
Then There's the Tort Case     272
Civil vs. Criminal Misconduct      272
The Negligence Factor     273
Contracts and Torts     273
Intentional and Unintentional     274
The Tort Case     274
What about the Secondary Responsibility?     275
The Last Protection     275
Glossary     277
About the Author     283
Index     285

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