Combining forces to create a joint venture (JV) is nothing new, but the real trick is to do so in such a way that protects each venturer so that both parties are free to put their best creative foot forward. I’m talking “Captain Planet” levels of teamwork that can only come when all parties feel that they’re in a safe space to build an empire.
Just three little words are required to make your wildest joint venture dreams come true: joint venture agreement. Sounds dry. Sounds complicated. But they are absolutely necessary. By outlining each partner’s expectations, not only are both of your businesses protected, but the relationship between the people teaming up is protected, too. No passive aggressive emails or fighting over customer lists and trademarks — or worse.
Every agreement varies depending on the specifics, but when I joined forces with Ashley Ambirge of The TMFProject to create a comprehensive legal resource for entrepreneurs called Small Business Bodyguard, we made sure to cover the absolute must-haves. Here are some of the key items we included that you can use as a jumping-off point to craft your own agreement: (more…)