A business partner may be just the person you need to help you expand your business. Partnership agreements are contracts that establish your company as a legal entity. The contracts detail the operational and financial terms of your agreement. Before you extend a partnership contract, find the best person or group of people that will help you and your business grow. Here are the seven most important questions to ask potential partners.

How Are You Motivated?

Motivation comes in all shapes and sizes. Some people work best independently. Others may need to brainstorm ideas before putting them on paper. Everyone has their self-motivational style. You may feel more comfortable working with someone that uses similar motivational techniques.

What Is Your Business Experience?

If you are a new entrepreneur, you may want to seek out a business partner with more experience. Their knowledge can help you develop creative solutions to challenges your business may experience. Alternatively, someone with little business experience may have the enthusiasm and creativity to help your new venture explode onto the market.

Where Do You See Yourself Five Years From Now?

Understanding your business partner’s long-term goals will help you find the best candidate. You may envision a hands-on manager working alongside you for the next ten years. An applicant looking to partner with you in an advisory role will not provide the support you want.

How Do You Define Success?

Ask potential partners to develop or identify components of a corporate mission statement that they value. You and your partners must work toward the same corporate goals. Business partners that agree on corporate objectives will have less conflict throughout the partnership.

What Hobbies Do You Have?

Partners do more than work together from 9 to 5. They work closely together for long hours to build a successful company. Seek out a partner that has interests or hobbies similar to yours. You have something to discuss if you need a break from the business.

What Is Your Financial Style?

Seek out a business partner that complements your financial style. If you prefer a conservative financial plan, someone that explores non-traditional lending opportunities may help you find creative solutions to your financing needs. While you probably do not want someone that is your financial opposite, find a partner with whom you are comfortable sharing financial decisions.

How Do You Manage Crisis?

Seek out candidates that handle stress positively. Be sure to discuss your stress management techniques with your potential partners.

After examining their answers, identify a partner that best complements your business objectives. Once you have selected the best candidate, ask your attorney to draw up your partnership agreement.