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joint venture or partnership
Thread poster: Mueen Issa
Mueen Issa  Identity Verified
Local time: 19:13
English to Arabic
+ ...
Apr 4, 2007

Dear colleagues,

A friend of mine, who is not a translator but a business man, is proposing a joint venture between me and him (as legal entities)...

But lately, he is asking me to discuss the issue in more details, proposing also partnership with me.

If you were to decide, what would you choose and why?
Thank you so much.


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Kevin Fulton
United States
Local time: 12:13
German to English
Research legal liability Apr 4, 2007

You may have to discuss some of the issues with a lawyer. But you'll have to analyze the advantages/disadvantages of any financial/legal arrangement.

1. What will be your benefits?
2. What benefits would the other person enjoy? Are they greater than, less than or the same as your benefits?
3. Would you be legally liable for your business partner's debts?
4. Do your potential business partner's activities mesh well with yours?
5. How easily will you be able to dissolve the businesss relationship if it it is shown not to be to your advantage?

As I mentioned above, at some juncture, you should consult with a lawyer before entring into an firm contract with someone else.


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Álida Gándara
Mexico
Local time: 11:13
English to Spanish
+ ...
what about tax liabilities? Apr 4, 2007

It all depends; I am from Mexico, and some legal entities are subject to more strict or more flexible conditions under tax laws.

The main purpose of your enterprise may be the same, but when you take a look at the tax burdens, you may find a lot of difference


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Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 09:13
English to German
+ ...
You are a business person yourself Apr 5, 2007

Therefore you should decline - thanks, but no thanks.

If he is not a translator, in what way would this joint venture benefit you? Besides paying him money.

He can't finish your project in case you get sick.

What services did he offer on his part? Manage you?

I have been approached by various people who want to be my "manager", do my bookkeeping, play the advisor (good one!) and such. Never start a partnership with a person who can't replace you 100%.

Nicole


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Mueen Issa  Identity Verified
Local time: 19:13
English to Arabic
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
good points Nicole Apr 5, 2007

he will bring work for the office, which i need to open and appoint translators. I will do the management and everything related to the office work.

What else?

Nicole Schnell wrote:

Therefore you should decline - thanks, but no thanks.

If he is not a translator, in what way would this joint venture benefit you? Besides paying him money.

He can't finish your project in case you get sick.

What services did he offer on his part? Manage you?

I have been approached by various people who want to be my "manager", do my bookkeeping, play the advisor (good one!) and such. Never start a partnership with a person who can't replace you 100%.

Nicole


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Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 09:13
English to German
+ ...
Aha. Apr 5, 2007

I will do the management and everything related to the office work.


And here is the problem. The reputation of your company is based on the quality of the product - i.e. your translations. That's where the money comes from. If you block yourself out by dedicating, say, 80% of your time to administration instead of production, you are way too vulnerable as a young business.

Imagine: None of the business acquisition contacts turns out to be fruitful, however, your business partner can rightfully claim 50% of your profits. Doesn't sound very appealing.

If I were you, I would do a test run: Hire him on a freelance basis, let him do acquisition and pay on commission - based on the value of sales achieved. Then you can go from there.


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Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 10:13
English to Spanish
+ ...
Details Apr 5, 2007

Discuss the details with him and then decide whether such a venture is worthwhile.

We don't know the details, but you can work with him on that, so the decision is completely up to you.


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xxxIreneN
United States
Local time: 11:13
English to Russian
+ ...
It could be possible Apr 5, 2007

If you become co-owners and split the responsibilities - he is Sales/Marketing and you are Operations. He brings meat and you keep the fire and cook the food. Details of profit sharing TBD. I'd love to arrange my business like that - I hate marketing and I can't sell snow to an Eskimo, which a sales person must be able to do, but I can handle/save absolutely any project no matter how large/tough/screwed up. I can bring together proper teams on both sides of the ocean in a blink of an eye, if required. Can you?

Nothing wrong with such arrangement but in that case you'll have to forget your own translation part, turn into an administrator and support his efforts in the beginning. He is a businessman so he must be having other income to live on until your endeavour starts bearing fruit. Do you?

Don't fool yourself, you won't be able to translate in between to sustain yourself - the initial setup and kick-off of any project profitable enough to feed you 2 will consume all your time if you are after a serious business. BTW, that's why I'm still an active translator/interpreter. It's one or the other, and I'm not ready to give up my profession entirely. Are you?

Keep working for yourself until he brings in a serious project and drops it on your desk. You've already proved your qualifications in this business, let him do his part.

Otherwise Nicole is right - what do you need him for? To manage your typing speed?


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megane_wang  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 18:13
English to Spanish
+ ...
This sounds familiar to me... Apr 5, 2007

I agree with Nicole in almost everyting.

As soon as you have got any sort of "business" that seems to work reasonably well, there's always someone who's ready to "partner" with you in some strange way. It also happened to me, but fortunately it happened after I had learned a few things about making my business run.

If you look at it, if he is only going to do some commercial tasks, you don't need to involve him too much in your business.

Why don't you try him first?

You can "hire" him as a sales representative with a project-based commission. Add an incentive (if you wish!) to ensure his regular performance. Add an incentive (if you like!) to ensure he looks for real quality jobs.

I would try it for a while until clear and stable results come. Then I would re-think and update the agreement, and wait again for further results. If everything went alright, then I would decide what to do. But in that case I would have had time enough to see how this person deals with customers, and who is taking more responsibilities in the "society".

In any case, set the agreement that best suits YOU. Never have pity of anyone else while doing business, particularly when, as I guess it's the case, you have more to loose.

AND, a final thought: never ever loose contact with customers just because you are using a salesperson. Customers are yours if and only if YOU know them in person.

Best luck!

Ruth @ MW


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Mueen Issa  Identity Verified
Local time: 19:13
English to Arabic
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
thanks and apologies Apr 7, 2007

Thank you all for the points you raised, and I apologize I could not discuss more with you in the past couple of days cause I had to be in the skies and airports.

I think you need more details as Henry suggested. Here you go:

1- The businessman is not suggesting any sort of business interference in the office, in case of partnership. He is already busy. He is only suggesting bringing me (us) some clients he knows and to try to bid on the government tenders.

2- When he suggested patnership, he is only talking about money matters.

3- I already have my own clients, whom I do not think I will give up to the office in case of partnership. I will keep on translating, in any case.

4- So, the question is again: Joint venture or partnership??
in the joint venture option, I own my translation office; he owns his office, we both bid as one (collaborative) entity.

Generally, I have good marketing/sales, as well as of course translation, experience. The office might need an office manager (or similar position) anyone interested.


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xxxIreneN
United States
Local time: 11:13
English to Russian
+ ...
How about Finder's Fee? Apr 8, 2007

In other words, a simple signed agreement to pay him a flat percentage of the total project budget after signing the contract with the end client. Pretty much the same principle that works when the lawyers agree to get paid only after winning the case. Undercurrent - you must know how to calculate that budget, including decent profit margin for yourself, and manage it properly. In this case everything extra you might save is yours, but the same is true for the losses.

I'd recommend not to go into a full-blown partnership or JV right from the start.


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