A close friend has decided to hire me to do some web developing work. In addition, if (when?) the project is successful, he is interested to have me onboard as a business partner overlooking the maintenance side of the program (ie the application / service that the project produces).

I am unsure what is a reasonable % of shares, but at this stage I'm thinking 50/50. On top of that, we'll both invoice the business for development time (from my part) and marketing & strategizing time (his part). He has already received a grant to make this business a success, which is the pot of money that will pay for my invoice.


  • I really don't understand what's being asked here. Surely you aren't expecting anyone here to offer an opinionated guess at an appropriate agreement with absolutely zero information about the business.
    – Scott
    Commented Jul 4, 2016 at 17:50

1 Answer 1


Poppycock. Do your web development work, yes. Specify a price. And even with this friend, get a written contract specifying deliverables (with milestones, hopefully) and payment terms.

As for this "business partner" thing -- leave that alone. It's usually a way of someone signifying that he/she wants you involved without having to make sure you get paid for your time. If this person is directing what work you do or don't do, that's not a partner -- it's a client (or employer). You can go on craigslist and find people with no tech skills offering "partnership" deals ANY time! It's a joke!!!

You haven't even told us what kind of business it is, your friend's qualifications in that line of business, nor YOUR qualifications in that line of business. Don't get involved in a business deal that you're not qualified to manage or steer if your partner is absent. Stay in your lane.

Consider yourself warned :) I'd hate to see you come back here in six months when it bottoms out.

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