How to make your dreams come true and avoid any nightmares 

Thinking about starting a business with your other half? Sounds like a swell idea when you’re sitting on  the couch together swapping daydreams. But there’s a lot to consider before you dive in. As if business  ventures weren’t complicated enough, a professional partnership with your lifelong partner adds an  element of complexity to the equation.  

That being said, there are many couples who have built successful business empires. Think Chip and  Joanna Gaines of the Magnolia empire or Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith, who own a production  company together.  

Here are some do’s and don’ts as you embark on this adventure with your spouse.  

Do discuss risk tolerance. Because both of you will be relying on income from the business, be sure you  have the conversation about what type of risk you’re willing to take – and consider maintaining separate  earnings records, employee benefits and personal after-tax assets. Speak to your advisor about what level  of risk your financial situation can withstand as well. It might mean one of you keeps a full-time job for a  bit while helping the other run the business on the side.  

Don’t be afraid to disagree. Challenging each other may actually contribute to business success and  continued innovation. That is, as long as you and your partner are good at conflict resolution. The more  ideas, the better. From there, work through the options objectively and come to an agreeable resolution.  If there are some aspects you don’t agree on, consider dividing responsibilities to conquer.  

Do separate work and home life. It’s really exciting as you build an empire and experience success, but  remember your relationship is more than just the business – so spend time together and avoid talking  shop. Maybe it’s a hard stop at 6 p.m. every day so you can switch into home mode. If you run the  business from home, it might mean keeping inventory in a specific room.  

Don’t forget to give your partner praise. Joint success is what makes the business happen, but both  parties should feel like they’ve made significant contributions. Celebrate your partner’s wins and cheer  them on along the way. It’s easy to forget how important it is to actively support each other when you’re  working and living – and everything – together.  

Do have individual interests. Just as it’s important to take time away from the business together, it’s just  as important to take time away from the business (and your spouse) for yourself. Consider personality  differences in this equation, as someone who’s an extrovert might be fed by outings with friends while an  introvert may need alone time with a book.  

Don’t do it if you’re not having fun. Sure, you have to make money and support your family. After all,  that’s why you’re in business! But you should be having fun while doing it. If the business is putting too  much pressure on your relationship and affecting family life, it might not be the right situation for you. Be  aware of how it’s going and recalibrate if necessary.  

A business venture – with or without your spouse – is an exciting journey. Bringing in an advisor to  partner with you on making smart financial decisions for you and your family can be helpful. That way you  get to do what you love most and embark on your entrepreneurial dreams with less worry. 


If you’re thinking about embarking on an entrepreneurial venture with your other half:  

  • Talk about how differences in risk tolerance and personality would affect the business plan and  operations  
  • Bring an advisor into conversations early so they can make financial recommendations that support  your goals  



Material created by Raymond James for use by its advisors. The information contained herein has been  obtained from sources considered reliable, but we do not guarantee that the foregoing material is  accurate or complete. Raymond James is not affiliated with any other entity listed herein.  2021 Raymond James Financial Services, Inc., member FINRA/SIPC. 21-BDMKT-5250 AB 1/22