Questions for Your Future Senior Business Partner

Questions for Your Future Senior Business Partner

Below are some questions to get your discussion rolling with your future long-term senior business partner. You will, of course, come up with many more that are unique to your particular situation.

These are questions that might be useful to you if you are the incoming partner (that is, you do not currently have ownership in the business – even if you plan to buy fifty percent or more). These questions might be most helpful for those considering entering into a private practice healthcare partnership, but I’ve tried to phrase most of them so they could apply to other businesses as well.

Questions that the senior partner might want to ask a future junior partner will be posted later this week here.

  1. Why are you looking for an junior partner?
  2. What are you looking for in a junior partner?
  3. How can I help you meet your goals at this point your career?
  4. What is the portion of the business currently worth that I will be buying (aka what’s the price for me to buy in)?
  5. How was that number determined?
  6. How can I verify the numbers used to determine the price?
  7. What was the gross income for the business over the last 24 months?
  8. What was the net income over the last 24 months?
  9. What was the overhead percentage over the last 24 months?
  10. Do you expect overhead to increase, decrease, or stay the same next year?
  11. Have you discussed bringing in a partner with your CPA and/or financial planner?
  12. Are you sure that bringing in a partner fits with your long-term financial plan?
  13. What is the current office lease or mortgage situation?
  14. Is there an opportunity for me to buy part or all of the current office building?
  15. Do you have any plans to move the office location?
  16. If this partnership plan includes an associateship before the sale, are you willing to have the sale agreement in place and the method or equation for determining the price at time of sale set up before the associateship begins?
  17. Are you willing to finance a portion of the sale? (If the seller can help with financing, this will help immensely in convincing banks to give the buyer business loans.)
  18. When and how will we pay ourselves?
  19. Will our incomes be based on our production individually or on our business’ net profit split up by our percentages of ownership?
  20. How much (in hours or days) will you be cutting back your own work schedule?
  21. How much do you see your new associate/partner working (both at the office and on admin/marketing/etc)?
  22. How long would you want to work side-by-side before I took over some days/times on my own?
  23. How would we split up office management (staff meetings, hiring, firing, etc)?
  24. Which days/hours will you work and which ones will I work?
  25. How far in advance will we set our schedule?
  26. What will we do if we can’t agree on the schedule?
  27. What kind of non-compete do you expect from me?
  28. Are you also willing to sign a non-compete? (Both partners should be willing to sign a non-compete if it will be a true long-term partnership.)
  29. How much do you see yourself working over the next 2, 5, and 10 years?
  30. Do you have a retirement age in mind?
  31. What is your vision/plan for business growth (or maintaining current success)?
  32. How much of the business growth (or maintaining current success) is each partner’s “responsibility”?
  33. What does the business need to generate “at minimum” per month to sustain both of us? Per year?
  34. What would we do if the business does not generate the “minimum” we need?
  35. What would be reasons we would mutually agree to end our partnership other than retirement of a partner?


    Me and my business partners in Santa hats
    What a truly excellent business partnership looks like.
Comments are closed.