Whether you're building a company from the ground up or you just need an extra helping hand for your booming business, it can be nice to have a business partner. But do you know how to tell a good partner from a bad one? Nicolas Cole, contributor for Inc.com, says that it's important to get to know your potential partner before going into business with them. Cole offers six ways to spot a bad business partner.

  1. Too Good to Be True? Probably - If something seems too good to be true, tread carefully. If something about the partner or the business plan doesn't seem right to you, "don't be afraid to walk away and stick to your plan," Cole says.
  2. Know Their Motives - Make sure that you know exactly what the other person is involved in. Do they have another company? Are they looking to build up this company in order to help another? "Where you should be concerned is whether or not this partnership on the table will come second, or third, or last on their priority list," Cole says. Make sure this partnership will benefit the both of you.
  3. Know Your Expertise - Make sure that your partner is a true expert in your field and balances out your expertise. There's a big difference between a partner who's only excited about the venture and someone has expertise in the field to help build the business.
  4. One Person Does All the Work - Nothing is worse than one person coming into the office, giving lots of ideas, then not working to implement them. When first starting out, each partner needs to be pulling their weight to make the business work. "If not, it's going to become lopsided," Cole says, "and that's when disagreements start happening."
  5. They Aren't Truthful - You should be weary of the partner who can't even be honest with you on small things like making a mistake on an order or a project. "If that person lies about the small stuff now, their lies will only grow with their bank account," Cole says.
  6. They Aren't Your Friend - At the end of the day, you want your work to feel less like work and more like fun. If you can't see yourself being friends with your business partner, going on vacation with them, and just enjoying their company, it probably isn't going to work out.

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