partnership or employee?


LawnSite Senior Member
St. Louis, Mo
I was approached by another guy in the business about going into a partnership, or working for him.

I have 20 accounts he has 90. He is maxed out, and needs someone to run a second crew. He proposed the partners deal to make sure that I had some stake in the company and that I was not just there to get a paycheck.

It would require me to use my '99 truck and '00 trailer and my existing equipment 2 36"s. He has an '87 truck and older trailer with 61" ztr a 48" hydro and a 48" in need of repair

I have a better appearance than him with company tshirts jackets etc and newer equipment. He has been in business for 20 years. I have just been doing this part time and am now ready to go full time.

Just wanted to get some of your input. How does 40% of the profits sound?



LawnSite Platinum Member
Be your own boss. Ask him to refer his over-load in your direction. Partners = problems, in my book.


LawnSite Senior Member
Columbus Ga
First and formost GET IT IN WRITING use a lawyer,are you in bizz for yourself to work for some oneelse that would more than likly own controling interest?, maybe you could be a subcontractor for him,whats his profit now, how much revenue
would be increaesd by doing a merger,and how long would it take to recope? theirs a lot of other factors that come in play here the biggest one i guess would be do you want a partner with controling interest?if you do merge and down the road you can't work together you'll probally would have had to sign a no compete agreement which would put you out for a while.just some things that come to mind. In the end you have to satisfie yourself.


LawnSite Member
Middlebury, CT
Beck if I were you I would stay on my own. I started in this business about 6 years ago with a partner. Needless to say I will be starting my 7th year next year and he's been out of business as of last year. As a matter of fact after 5 years of competing with him he called me and asked if I could do all his fall clean ups for him.
You will never find anyone that will work as hard as you. Nor should you expect to find anyone that will work as hard as you because they will probably say to themselves, as time goes on, why the hell am I busting my butt for half the profit. Plus there are alot of hard feelings when trying to make decesions on equipment reinvestments or go out and buy that new toy.
If you are ready to go full time then devote the time to build your customer base. Concentrate on making existing customers happy so they will talk to their neighbors and refer you. Good Luck


LawnSite Member
Beck, I am sure that you worked pretty hard for the 20 established accounts that you presently have, and I don't think it would be a good idea to risk loosing them if things didn't work out with the partner. I would definitely stay on my own because having a partner brings with it many headaches. In time, your business will grow and you will be looking to HIRE someone to run a crew for YOU, and you will be glad that you didn't have a partner. More profit, less problems! Just my opinion.



LawnSite Senior Member
No partner= Noooo problems.

just stay on your own and be patient and advertise. Dont think you need someone else. If he has too much work then let him hire a good payed employee. You can build your own! I will never go into partnerships again because i have been through it and its not fun.


LawnSite Senior Member
Your post here was of your own free will,can you imagine having to ask all of us our opinion about all your business related desicions.Thats what it will be like to have a partner.


LawnSite Senior Member
North of Seattle
The only partner I've got is my wife. I had a business with a partner when I was young and unsure of myself--never again. My brother-in-law went to work for a roofer a few years ago with the 'understanding' that he would become an equity partner in the business "when the time was right." He worked his a__ off, built the business up to be very profitable and all the while the owner was taking vacations and "getting ready for retirement". Well when the issue was pressed the owner realized that he now had a very viable, profitable business and turned around and sold it to a third party for a very nice price--all my brother in law got was nothing. He had nothing in writing to fall back on and that's what he got--nothing. Don't make this mistake.