How To Find a Business Partner: 5 Key Strategies

Updated March 16, 2023

find a business partner

A business partner can be a valuable asset when you're starting a new company. While some partners form business ideas together from the beginning, others find each other in the process of launching a company. If you're trying to find a business partner, it may be helpful to review several effective approaches that you can take.

In this article, we explore what a business partner does and the benefits of having one, plus tips for how to find a business partner who’s a good fit—for you and the job.

How to find a business partner

A business partner is someone with whom you legally share the co-ownership of your company, including any profits or losses. This relationship should be carefully outlined to ensure both parties understand their financial and professional obligations, as you may share your financial resources in addition to skills and expertise.

These five strategies will help you explore the possible avenues for finding the right business partner:

1. Evaluate your colleagues

Your former and current colleagues could make ideal candidates for a business partnership. Because you have a work history, you already know what this person is like in a professional environment. Consider coworkers who are the most dedicated, innovative and efficient, and with whom you have a positive working relationship. It's also important to find a business partner with a similar business philosophy.

2. Collaborate with friends

Friends can make excellent business partners when your skills, education and experience complement each other. Rather than selecting a close friend with the same expertise as you, look for friends or acquaintances that excel in areas you're less familiar with. Anyone in your social circle could be a candidate for a business partner.

Related: "I Have a Business Idea": How To Get Started

3. Attend industry events

Industry events—conferences, lectures and trade shows—can present great opportunities for a potential business partnership because they bring together people with the same interests. For example, if you're starting a business that will offer eco-friendly products, consider attending a sustainability conference. If you're looking for a partner in the dog industry, consider networking at a pet expo.

You can also go to events focused on professionals in the specialties that you need most. To find a business partner with strong finance skills, you might want to attend a conference focused on the financial sector or one that might naturally have several attendees with a financial background.

Related: How To Give an Elevator Pitch (With Examples)

4. Explore online entrepreneur networks

Several websites and online networks exist for people seeking business partners. These virtual communities typically allow you to create your own profile and browse others’. Here are a few examples:

  • CoFoundersLab


  • TechCofounder

On these sites, you can compare skill sets, interests and projects to find potential business partners that are a good fit for your needs. Some sites incorporate screening procedures while others leave their members to screen applicants themselves. You can even find sites that double as platforms for launching your business and seeking funding.

Read more: Become a Networking Expert in 7 Steps

5. Further your education

Going back to school could help you expand your network and find potential business partners. Taking classes on entrepreneurship, startup engineering or competitive strategy will likely place you with other like-minded individuals. You might find your business partner while working on a project together or during an online course discussion.

Related: The Benefits of a Silent Partnership

Tips for attracting a good business partner

Finding potential co-founders is the first step to forming a profitable partnership, but you should consider your options in depth before committing to working with someone. Consider these tips carefully as you evaluate potential business partners:

  • Define your skill sets. You should select a business partner whose skills and experience are different from your own to expand your resources.

  • Discuss your values and beliefs. While you can have employees or coworkers whose values differ from your own, it's generally best to choose a co-founder who agrees with you on core beliefs and business philosophies.

  • Find a partner with passion. You'll face many challenges in the early days of your startup. These are much easier to handle when your partner is just as passionate and enthusiastic about the venture as you.

  • Discuss your long-term view. Find a business partner who has the same five- and 10-year goals so you're prepared to follow a similar path to success. If you see different endpoints in the long term, you may want to reconsider your partnership.

  • Conduct due diligence. Use independent resources to research your potential partner. Consider their professional reputation, job history, financial background and education, as these factors may affect the way they work and public perception. Someone with an excellent record could attract more investors and supporters.

Read more: 12 Tips for Finding a Business Partner and Maintaining a Successful Partnership

The benefits of a business partner

Depending on the scope of your partnership, you or your business partner might invest without participating in management activities, or you may want to be heavily involved in decision-making and daily operations.

While it's tempting to retain sole ownership, there are many key benefits to working with the right business partner, including:

  • Shared skills and education: A good business partner brings new ideas and expertise to the company.

  • Financial, moral and professional support: Starting a company is difficult, but having a partner can potentially halve the workload and financial obligations for you.

  • Increased business opportunities: Having a business partner can increase your credibility, give you access to a broader professional network and open up more opportunities for growth and expansion.

  • Tax perks: If you form a general partnership, you won’t pay income taxes, but profits and losses will go to both partners.

  • Fresh perspectives: Working with a partner can give you a different viewpoint, and they may find solutions you hadn't considered.

Related: Business Partnership Problems: 11 Common Causes and How To Avoid Them

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