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Should Spouses be Business Partners?

In the business world, sometimes it pays to have a partner. Two heads are better than one, as they say. But what if it’s a husband and wife tandem? Will the business prosper?

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In the business world, sometimes it pays to have a partner. Two heads are better than one, as they say. But what if it’s a husband and wife tandem? Will the business prosper?

Some experts don’t recommend a couple to go into business together as there are more disadvantages than there are advantages. However for successful couples who have made a mark in the industry, they are encouraging husbands and wives to do the same and just manage their professional and personal lives well moving forward.

Recent reports have noted that more couples are opening joint firms. In the U.S. alone, more than three million of small businesses in are owned by couples and the number is growing. The National Federation of Independent Business also revealed that more than a million husbands and wives co-own a business.

The Issues

One of the common issues couples managing a business often face is not being able to separate their personal from their professional lives. For some couples, this is the root of their conflicts. But if both spouses are able to draw the line and keep their personal issues outside of the business, there’s a chance for them to succeed in the future.

It’s also important that the responsibilities of both parties do not overlap. Before they even start their business, they need to discuss their specific roles to avoid conflicts. It has to be a teamwork to enable the business to grow onward.

Sometimes, jealousy can also creep in between the couples particularly if one has become busier than the other and is out more often to network with other entrepreneurs.

In this case, both spouses should give their full trust to each other to keep the relationship strong. One should never give in to temptations and should value his marriage to make it last.

Tips for Couples

If you and your partner are bent on starting a new business, it’s best that you look into the pros and cons first, according to divorce lawyer Hossein Berenji of Berenji & Associates. Trust, compassion and your individual skills put to practice are essential. However, you also need to examine the possible risks involved particularly when it comes to personal finances, he added.

When it concerns finances, you need to have other sources of income or more than enough savings to keep your business going. You might also want to consider getting one or more investors in your team.

The ability to strike a balance between your business and family lives is as important. It is a huge challenge for many couples but if both of you are determined to sustain the enterprise moving forward, it can surely be done. What matters is you commit to separating your personal life from your business life, that when you get home at the end of the day, your family is your priority and no work should be discussed over dinner.

The issue of gender equality is another concern among couple entrepreneurs also known as co-preneurs. A 2013 research paper from UNC Chapel Hill showed that women have lower chances of being in charge if they co-found new businesses with their husbands. This is due to the expectations regarding gender-typical work that affect the power positions beind held by husbands and wives. As such what often happens is the wife ends up in a subordinate role while the husband leads the new business.

Several studies have shown the benefits couples can enjoy if they partner together in a business. Research from the Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA), for example, found that couples who started a business together experienced significant income gains during the life of their business and even after it has been closed. The study noted that doing business as a couple is a sound investment and can lower income inequality in the household.