Some Illinois business owners want to expand their operation by bringing in a partner. Alternatively, you might be starting off your first company and want to do it with a partner. No matter the reason, forming a business partnership is a crucial step that can make or break your enterprise. Entrepreneur explains what to look for when considering someone as a business partner.

First, you might not want your partner to be a mirror image of yourself. A partnership with two owners that are both good at business operations but not at making sales may not produce a profitable enterprise. Generally, it helps to find someone who offers talents and experience you do not possess. For instance, a partner that is good with finances but not at communication may benefit from someone who knows how to network with potential clients.

Trust is another vital component to a successful partnership. Even if the partner is qualified to handle the business, you want an ethical individual who will not steal from the company or land the business in legal trouble. If you would not trust a partner candidate with a large sum of money, looking elsewhere is a sensible solution. Even if your prospective partner is a friend, be sure you can trust that person with the kind of responsibilities you have in mind.

Some entrepreneurs already have working experience with a partner candidate. They might work together at a common workplace or have collaborated at a nonprofit organization. However, if you have no work experience with a prospective partner, setting up a project to work on together can provide a look at how your partnership may work and help you judge if a partnership is worth forming.

Going through these steps does not guarantee your partnership will be successful, but it can do a lot to reveal potential warning signs that your partnership might not work as you intend. This information is offered only for educational benefit and not as legal advice.