These days, it is becoming very common for different businesses to form joint ventures. As market regulations get more stringent and resources of companies across all industries tend to dwindle, forming a joint venture with other firms become more of a likely option for businesses. The increasing competition further makes the challenges of the times more pressing.

There are many misconceptions about joint ventures. You might be surprised to know that you might not completely know the concept. What is a joint venture? How is it different from a merger and from a partnership? Is it a good option for salvaging or redeeming your business from the difficult challenges brought about by prevailing market conditions? Correct and adequate knowledge about joint ventures is truly imperative these days.

To begin with, a joint venture is technically defined as a strategic alliance between two or more parties (or businesses/ companies) to form a new business that would facilitate sharing of resources, knowledge, assets, intellectual property, markets, and profits. A new business or operational entity is established when a joint venture between two or more companies is formed. The venture could not proceed if a company does not find a willing partner to get into the deal. The joint venture is not forever. Its existence could be limited, as specified by the joint venture agreement or contract.

A joint venture is very much different from a merger. The two concepts should not be taken synonymously. In a merger, two existing companies combine through acquisition or transfer of ownership. There is a deal to buy one company by another. In a merger, both companies could decide to pursue each other’s current operations. The management of the acquired or absorbed firm is usually terminated or re-assigned into the acquiring company (though in a different hierarchy or position). Mergers do not usually result in creation of a new business or entity. Just two companies merge. Unlike a joint venture, a merger or combination could last forever provided ownership in one would not be transferred or sold again in the future.

On the other hand, what is a partnership? Always remember that a partnership is different from a joint venture or a merger. A partnership could just be a pact or a business relationship between two or more companies. The alliance could be bonded by a formal agreement with specific terms and conditions for the continuous existence of a partnership. Partnerships often involve long-term and continuing business relationships whereas joint ventures create other business projects. In partnerships, any of the company need not swallow or buy ownership of another.

A joint venture could be formed by two or more giants in an industry. It could also be formed by two minor businesses. It could be a partnership between a giant and a small company or it could be formed by a foreign business with another local entity. In a joint venture, two or more companies agree to share resources, technology, and expertise so that a new or third-party resulting business would be formed more dynamically and actively to cover a greater scope of the market. Joint ventures could also form across various industries.

 

When you are putting up a business, one of the main things that you have to decide on is whether you can do it on your own or partner with other people. This may seem such a no-brainer but don’t be fooled because this is one of the most important decision that you need to make in your life. Partnerships with other people may seem a good idea but in the long run they can also be a headache especially when you don’t get along well with your partners.

If you can’t decide and you need help choosing, here are some of the things that you need to consider when “venturing” into a joint venture.

1. Do you know your partner well?
One of the worst things that can happen to you when starting a business is to get a partner who will only be a burden to you. And trust me, there are plenty of cases like this in the world of business. Some were even long time friends back in the kindergarten, decided to put up a business when they were fresh out of college and then ended up hating each other because of the business. This is why some people choose members of their family to be partners with and this is also why some people do not.

Before partnering with anybody, make sure that you know your partner well. Do you have the same work ethic? Do you have the same drive? Do you have the same vision for the company? Can you trust him or her with your life? These are just some of the questions that you need to ask before you can really decide.

2. Do you need the money, expertise or the extra hand?
If the basic concept of the business is your idea, it is recommended that you put up the business on your own instead of seeking a partner. You only need a partner if you need a person’s expertise in the field or your money is not enough to raise funds for the business. A partnership is also a good idea for people who have full time jobs and are only doing the business as a side job. They need the partner who can help them run the business.

If you do not really need any of these three, I would advise you to start the business on your own because there will be less headaches.

3. Can you work with a partner?
Some people work well with others while others are complete disasters when it comes to dealing with other people. Examine your personality and see if you are cut out to be in a partnership. This means that you will not be boss and will have to compromise. It’s like having a relationship. If you can be in a partnership, then choose someone who can also be in a partnership. Check also how you guys work together and how you can be complementary to each other.