Business Partners Shaking HandsWhen starting a business, many choose to work with friends. There is nothing wrong with that. Some of the biggest businesses are founded by best friends. Take Larry Page and Sergey Brin, the founders of Google, for example. Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield, who are childhood friends, started Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream. These businesses and the partnerships behind them are truly inspirational.

But you need to keep in mind that not all businesses founded on friendship have gone that way. Some even end up being enemies. If you want to protect your bond with your friend while doing business, here are some of the things you need to keep in mind.

Keep everything in writing

This is the very first thing you need to do. Often, a lot are comfortable with each other, but this should not fool you. Every action you and your friend are carrying out within the bounds of business should be put into writing. This is especially important when it comes to finances, such as spa and other types of business loans, profit sharing, and release of petty cash.

Be specific in roles

You and your friend should define the roles so efforts are not wasted and that the process will be smooth. Also, you need to put the division of labour into writing. You should also be clear when it comes to how much power will be entrusted to every member of the business.

Spend some time together

If you both are always working, the friendship may be at risk. Do not let that happen! What you need to do is set aside some time for you and your friend to unwind. Maybe you can go on “dinner dates” and some activities that both of you will enjoy.

There is nothing wrong with building a business with a friend. But you need to understand that this prospect comes with many risks than usual.