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My girlfriend wants 50% of my business


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Old 20th February 2019, 8:08 AM   #16
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I guess if you refuse the 50% she is probably going to walk out sooner or later. Few relationshps will survive that kind of a knock back.

You say she is very talented, and she is willing to put 100% in, so you need to weigh up if your business venture is truly viable without her.
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Old 20th February 2019, 8:10 AM   #17
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Return the $300 back to her. Tell her to get a job and support herself. If I were you, I wouldn’t even hire her. If her ideas were so great, she would have no problem supporting herself as a full-time artist.

Did her parents support her before you came along?
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Old 20th February 2019, 12:42 PM   #18
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I guess if you refuse the 50% she is probably going to walk out sooner or later. Few relationshps will survive that kind of a knock back.
Agreed, with the caveat it's difficult under any circumstances to maintain a relationship when entitled expectations are part of the mix.

He's already paying the bills at home and he's putting up the money for the venture. She seems to have artistic rather than business sensibilities...

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Old 20th February 2019, 1:11 PM   #19
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Partnerships rarely work out.

OP is in a risky business being in the arts. He knows this.

OP is putting his freakin' retirement money on the line. (Not judging whether or not this is wise; that's not his question).

OP is more well known and successful in the art world.

Why in the world would OP make GF an equal partner under these facts? That would be insane.

The fact that the GF doesn't see it this way makes me question her business acumen (or maybe she's sharper than I assume, and she understands that she's taking advantage of the situation and OP's emotions).
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Old 20th February 2019, 1:19 PM   #20
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A start up business should have a good business plan and even more so when there are partnerships involved. The failure rate in start up business's is staggering in part by little to no business planning just operating on good ideas and hope it will work. I realize your not married that said, married couples working together in business is yet another world of it's own.



Whats on the table right now is a disaster in the making, the numbers are not adding up for a 50-50 partnership. I am not trying to discourage you not to put your project together but rather encouraging you to put together a comprehensive business plan. The best money spent is hiring a top flight CPA firm that also does business strategy planning.
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Old 20th February 2019, 1:54 PM   #21
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At the very least go talk to somebody in your local SBDC office for some low cost / free advice about starting a business. Bring your GF
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Old 20th February 2019, 2:15 PM   #22
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So here is a summary of the situation:


You pay her bills. She doesn't work. She is not contributing any money of note. You would be assuming all of the financial risk and entitling her to half of the money YOU are solely investing. She wants to have 1/2 of a business she has no risk in if it fails or you break up.


I mean, I would love to walk into Amazon and say, "Hey Bezos, I bought a nice chair for the office. Please give me 1/2 of the company".


What she is asking is out of line and smells of entitlement. The difference between an employee and an owner is the employee invests labor and the owner invests labor and money, stress, risk... If this fails, is she going to help pay the bills you are already paying because she does not have a job or money? If she breaks up with you and wants to dissolve the company and wants to sell assets you bought with your windfall and take the money are you willing to just give her half of the money you inherited so she can go on a nice vacation with her new boyfriend?


We have all had friends like this. You set up a lemonade stand, research lemonade recipes, buy all the ingredients, buy a table and a chair, make a sign...then your friend comes along with his own chair and "helps" you. Except he stays 15 minutes and gets bored because he has nothing of note invested. Then at the end of the day he comes back and demands 1/2 the money you made because 'he did all the work'. I would never take on a partner in any business venture that did not have an equal amount to lose because you will never be "equal".


If her abilities are such that your business cannot succeed with out her labor, then you could consider it but you still have to remember she could take her labor elsewhere at any point and I would not invest my money hoping the other person would come through. If she does not understand that labor is the easy thing to provide and she is not able or willing to put everything she owns on the line to an amount equal to you, then she is not someone you want to have a partner. In fact, if she applied for a business loan available to say women, and put up 1/2 the money through her own debt (which it sounds like she would never qualify for), then maybe. But I bet she won't consider it and would be offended if you told her to get a job, work for a year at her job and your company, get a loan or save up and then when she has the money she can buy in, she would flip out. That is the only thing that would be in any way fair for you so if she flips out, it would show you where her thinking is at.


Her thinking is you are her cash cow and security and since you are dating, you owe her the good life without that little hassle of risk. Not in a million years would I entertain her being a 50% partner.
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Old 20th February 2019, 3:19 PM   #23
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everybody says no


she is not a long-standing wife who has a reasonable claim on your retirement funds...maybe if you were together 10 years, ok, but 18 months is not that long


what was she living on when you very first met?

Last edited by darkmoon; 20th February 2019 at 3:23 PM..
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Old 20th February 2019, 3:29 PM   #24
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Hot damn, I think there is a (nearly unanimous) consensus on this?!

I never see this happen so I feel excited for the OP that the accumulated wisdom all points in the same direction.
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Old 20th February 2019, 4:05 PM   #25
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Absolutely not. You don't mix money and business with people unless you're married to them and even then it can be a disaster.

You're a paralegal. Just tell her you got some legal advice on it and everyone said it was unadvisable. After all, it's unlikely you'll be together forever -- especially if you start having money and business problems. She is NOT contributing enough to be a part-owner. You're keeping her afloat. She sounds very selfish and money grubbing. Just tell her no. And don't marry her without signing a prenup since she's already trying to take your business.
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Old 20th February 2019, 4:16 PM   #26
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As a successful businessman once told me, “Partners are dead weight.”

Having said that, if the two of you were married, it wouldn’t matter and she wouldn’t be considered dead weight. However, as a gf, you would be completely out of your mind to entrust part of your business to her. And she’s nuts for demanding it and making you feel bad about it.

You’ll find that whenever you succeed, many will attempt to either take away what you have or make you feel bad about it. Don’t let anyone make you feel bad about what you worked so hard for. If I were with a guy in that position, I wouldn’t even dream of telling him what your gf is telling you. She’s completely out of line doing that.

If I were you, I’d let her know - in no uncertain terms - that I’m the sole owner of the business and it will remain that way. If she doesn’t like that, I’d tell her to take a hike.
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Old 20th February 2019, 4:48 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by JPerez2781 View Post
Both My girlfriend and I are artists. I have been an artist for over 13 years, I have a full-time job as a paralegal, on the side I paint, am the curator of a art gallery, sell my work, and have made quite a name for myself locally. My dream has always been to quit my fulltime job and start up my own art gallery and live life as an artist.

I recently got into a relationship 1.5 years ago. She is also an artist but not as well known as I am but very talented. I want to start up a gallery now that I came into some money. I have shared the idea with my girlfriend and she seemed excited about it. I have a full-time job and she is a full-time artist. Financially I pay all the bills at home because she does not work, but she will help out here and there whenever she can. I have purchased approximately $2,000 worth of furniture and supplies for the business and she has chipped in approximately $300 on her end to buy things for the gallery as well.

I will be coming into some retirement money and will be using it all to purchase the building, construction etc. and she will be helping with her ideas and physical efforts around the gallery. Just recently we got into an argument because she brought up the fact that so wanted to be a 50% partner (on paper) in the business because she feels that she will be putting her heart, soul, efforts and time into the business. Is it fair for her to ask for that? And is it wrong or selfish of me to not want to do that? I feel that we both will be benefiting off of the business, especially since she does not work and continue to be a full-time artist through the gallery. But I feel I have more to lose if for any reason we were to break up.

She is making me feel guilty because she is now saying that I do not trust her and that she will be making a sacrifice living in the gallery with me until the business gets on its feet. I don't feel that I need a business partner but at the same time I do want her help. What should I do?
It seems you are doing the same as the bolded, plus putting your entire financial future in it. Can she even support herself without you paying all the bills?

Seems pretty one sided to me. Its all well and good to put your "heart and soul" into a business, but if you arent making any money, its simply a hobby.
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Old 21st February 2019, 12:19 PM   #28
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Thank you so much for your advice. I'll be completely honest with you, I offered her 40% and she rejected it. So, with her response and what you have advised me on this thread, I see where her intentions lie.

I never said I was not going to pay her for her efforts. as a matter of fact, I offered her 40% and she rejected it!

Last edited by LoveShack.org Moderator; 21st February 2019 at 1:35 PM.. Reason: Merge
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Old 21st February 2019, 12:26 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by JPerez2781 View Post
Thank you so much for your advice. I'll be completely honest with you, I offered her 40% and she rejected it. So, with her response and what you have advised me on this thread, I see where her intentions lie.
40% was way way too much, considering she can’t even support herself working fulltime with her “talent”. Why were you okay with taking over this financial burden from her parents? I’m all for pursuing your dreams, but you don’t do this at the expense of others. You yourself have had to work hard as a paralegal to support yourself and save money to make your dreams come true.
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Old 21st February 2019, 12:35 PM   #30
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If you marry her she would want 100% in the divorce...

Be careful with people that want something for nothing at your own expense, it is a never ending well
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