Questions for Your Future Junior Business Partner

Questions for Your Future Junior Business Partner

Below are some questions to get your discussion rolling with your future long-term junior partner. You will, of course, come up with many other questions related to your specific situation.

These are questions that might be helpful if you are the selling partner (that is, you currently have ownership in the business – even if you plan to sell fifty percent or more). These questions might be most helpful for those considering entering into a private practice healthcare partnership – since that’s where I’ve had the most experience – but I’ve tried to phrase most of them so they could apply to other businesses as well.

Questions that the incoming junior partner might want to ask their future senior partner can be found here.

  1. What are you looking for in a senior partner?
  2. How much student debt are you carrying?
  3. Do you know what your monthly student loan payments are going to look like?
  4. What kind of lifestyle are you looking for?
  5. Do your lifestyle goals fit with this business/location/demographic? 
  6. Have you discussed this in detail with your spouse (if applicable)?
  7. Are you aware of the price of the portion of the business I am hoping to sell?
  8. Are you pre-approved for a business loan and/or will you need seller financing from me? 
  9. Do you understand the price of the business and what your monthly payment will be?
  10. Do you have any interesting in buying part of the current building (if applicable)?
  11. Are you happy with the current location of the business?
  12. Do you see the business moving locations in the future?
  13. Are you willing to agree now on the method/equation we will use to determine future sale of ownership portions?
  14. How much do you see yourself working (both at the office and on admin/marketing/etc)?
  15. How long would you want me to work side-by-side with you before you took over some days/times on your own?
  16. How much office management (staff meetings, hiring, firing, etc) are you willing to take on?
  17. Which days/hours of the week/month do you hope to work? How busy do you expect to be during the work day?
  18. What kind of non-compete do you expect from me? Are you also willing to sign a non-compete? (Both partners should be if it will be a true long-term partnership.)
  19. How long do you see yourself working full-time? Part-time?
  20. Do you have a retirement age in mind?
  21. What do you need to make “at minimum” per month to make it work for you here?
  22. What would you do if the buisness does not generate the “minimum” you need?
  23. Are you willing to take after-hours call?
  24. Do you have enough life insurance to pay off your debt on the practice if you die?
  25. Do you have enough disability insurance to pay off your debt on the practice if you are disabled?
  26. What sort of disability agreement would you expect between partners (that is, what would we do in the case of short-term or long-term disability of one of the partners)?
  27. Is there anything upcoming in your life that would interfere with your ability to be an excellent business partner?
  28. Knowing that I am looking for a long-term partner, are you willing to commit to 7-10 years here before you are “fully vested” in your percentage of business ownership? That is, would you agree to sell your ownership back to me at a reduced rate if you choose to leave the partnership in the near future?
  29. What would you like to see happen when I am ready to retire?
  30. Do you have expectations about when I will retire? 


Me and my business partner in costumes
Me and my senior business partner, taking business very seriously.
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