Dear Ms. Plaid,

I have been asked to go into business with one of my close friends. Although I am excited about the potential success of our partnership; I am afraid that it might affect our personal friendship. Is it a good idea to go into business with a friend?

– Worried About Staying Friends

Dear Worried About Staying Friends,

Going into business with a close friend can be tricky. There are definitely plenty of successful companies out there that were started between friends; but there are also plenty of companies who have failed strictly due to the fact that the business owners could not differentiate between being a business partner and being a friend. There needs to be a clear understanding of what each friend will be bringing into the business and how each friend will manage their responsibilities. When these expectations are blurred between friendship and business, it is a sure recipe for failure.

I like what Forbes has to say about going into business with a friend; and what questions need to be asked before entering the business partnership.

I personally have never gone into my own business with a friend, but I have worked alongside a few friends in my career. In most cases, it was not a problem, but in one instance working together with a friend created a deep fracture in our friendship. When we no longer worked together, we were able to resume our friendship, but it was never the same as it was before we worked together.

Be careful! Good luck.

Ms. Plaid