I have been doing work on my own and with a team distributed around multiple countries. I get projects and we work on them together. Recently a startup company, which is considered a competitor approached me and the guy asked me to help them get into the market and that later they will provide me with projects. I was ok with the idea. Then the guy asked me if they can take the blog posts I have on my personal blog and be part of their blog post to get their company up and running and that I am "part" of their company and should feel like a part of it.

I told them I don't like the idea and there should be a contract between them and me, and we're two separate entities. They said OK it's fine.

Now they said they have a project and they want me and my team to work on it, and that they want to have my team in a meeting to introduce everyone to each other.

Is that a good idea to let them talk to my team? I have no experience on how business should work or how to handle such situations? Do I tell them to scrap the old contract we have, since now they want to be closely in contact with my team, and rather make me an official partner in their company?

  • So what do you want? Do you want to be a partner in the company or do you want to keep thing strictly seperated?
    – Daniel
    May 1, 2020 at 20:49

4 Answers 4


There's a say: "Verbal agreement is worth as much as the paper it's written on"

They already tried to take over your content, are asking for you to open doors to the market and are now asking to know your team. This is a clear take over.

During the meeting they will exchange contacts with each one of your teammates and will try to do to them the same thing they tried to do with you. Someone will crack, someone will be enslaved and used.

This whole thing seems very weird and shady. Here's how a good business deal is:

  • company is responsible to deliver x
  • client is responsible to approve/inform/brief company until date
  • x is delivered (daily, weekly, monthly, or agreed date on writing through email)
  • for every x delivered, the company gets paid y
  • all intelectual property and image rights belongs to client
  • contract can be pulled by any party with z days notice
  • delays on delivery incur fines at 1% monthly value/day
  • delays in payment incur interest at 1% monthly value/day

See? absolutely clear rules and payment for work

Did you get paid for the posts? Are you getting paid for the meetings? Do you have a clear participation on profits?

If you answered no to all of them, they are making a sucker out of you.


I don't think it is a bad thing to introduce your team to them (not the perfect one too) but, if you are willing to do so, make sure nothing goes behind your back and to let all the interactions with the team to be from your perspective only.


Note: my suggestions may be biased due to the fact I've worked with bad teams and, as a company, I like to be independent from others.

I don't like the fact that they want you to feel part of their company... so you are smaller/less important then them? They have last word on decisions? If you keep thinks separate there's less risk for you anyway.

Both of you are interested in doing business together not to make new friends (it can be a good side effect, by the way, not your primary goal). So you can be the head/leader of your team and the other company can contact you only and interact with you only. They don't need to know if there's a John or a Jenny in your team and what he/she does specifically in your team... remember that N peolple have N*(N-1)/2 communication channels and consider if you like it and can work productively with that kind of management.


This could also be a poaching exercise. Familiarize themselves with your team and poach them. Make sure any agreement you make with the "competitor" has a 6 month non-compete clause. Most corporations today do the same.

If my company is hiring a vendor for some development, the vendor contract clearly mentions that my company can't hire any of their employees working on the project unless they have worked in another company after quitting the vendor.

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