You must have an honest and dependable business partner. If not, it could ruin your company and cost you dearly. Plus, if the two of you have a partnership agreement in place, any dishonesty from your partner could violate that agreement.

So, how do you know if he or she is lying? Here are a few things to watch out for:

  • Refusal to give you specifics. For instance, your partner claims to have some intellectual property that will set you apart from the competition, but he or she will not reveal what it is or offer any proof.
  • Refusal to give direct answers. Do you ever feel like your partner just tries to redirect the conversation when certain topics come up? This should make you ask what he or she is trying to hide.
  • Pitching an idea as unrealistically “hot.” Watch out for someone who is just trying to get you so excited about a situation that you do not take your time and do your due diligence. He or she may be creating a false sense of urgency or overselling the opportunity completely.
  • Someone who relies too much on past accomplishments. Perhaps he or she used to work for a well-known corporation. If you ask serious questions and you get no answers, other than a reference to that old job, it could mean your partner does not have the answers and is simply hoping you’ll be too impressed to push further.

A bad business relationship can lead to all sorts of legal trouble. Make sure you know exactly what rights and options you have.