Running a business with your spouse can be a rewarding experience. Who better to be in business with than someone you love and who loves you? Both of you will be fully committed to making it work, since your livelihoods depend on it. You get to spend more time together and share experiences on a daily basis. That doesn't mean it will be easy, however. Consider these tips to keep your business and your relationship in good health.

1. Make Sure You're on Stable Financial Footing

Make sure you have sufficient funds before you leap into starting a business. Arguing about money can have a very negative impact on a relationship, and it's certainly no way to start off running a business together. You need to be in a place where money isn't extremely tight. This can especially cause resentment if one of you is more enthusiastic about the idea than the other. If things don't work out with the business and money is already an issue, you may find that your marriage can become strained.

2. Determine Who Will Handle the Finances

Be sure to determine early on who will handle the money and bookkeeping responsibilities. This should probably be whoever is more detail-oriented or the one who would be most likely to stress about the bank account being overdrawn or a late payment on a loan. You will need to have a discussion about this. Hopefully, you can come to an agreement easily on who should do what. Deciding this with your spouse may actually be easier than it would be with a different business partner, since you know each other so well already.

3. Keep Business and Personal Life as Separate as Possible

There is little doubt that your business and personal life will blend together to some extent, but when possible, try to keep business at work and your personal relationship at home. You won't want one to affect the other in any negative way. Having a disagreement about work shouldn't become a personal argument and an argument at home should not have any bearing on how things are handled at work. The separation of business and personal life is all the more important if you have employees. You don't want to create any awkward situations resulting from the blending of the two.

4. Be Sure to Communicate

Good communication can help you avoid potential conflicts. Don't make assumptions just because you spend your whole lives together. Communicate at work just as you would if you were not married. This will help ensure that things are running as smoothly and as professionally as possible and can prevent issues that end up spilling over into your personal lives.

5. Support Each Other All the Time

Your spouse needs to know they have your support, just as you would want it if a given situation was reversed. You're in this together no matter what.

"During your journey as entrepreneurs in a romantic relationship, you need to become each other’s most fervent supporters — at the best and worst times," says Katarina Betterton, a contributor at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.1 "Lean into each other for motivation, support, and knowledge as you navigate running a business and building your dreams together."

6. Manage Your Expectations

Keep your expectations in check. Business can impact your personal life and time even if you try to keep things separate.

Sylvia Smith at writes, "With business and home life often crossing paths, it can take time to understand each other’s emotions or routines. You might expect something from your partner, say a dinner date because you got free early, but unfortunately, your spouse is still caught up with work. Such things can break your heart. Therefore, avoid expecting too much from your partner, unless in case of necessity. Being in that position, look for ways to be more understanding toward your spouse."2

While there may be times when having a spouse as a business partner can lead to some tricky circumstances, you can make it work if you support each other and maintain a professional business relationship in addition to a loving and understanding personal one.




The information provided is presented for general informational purposes only and does not constitute tax, legal or business advice. Any views expressed in this article may not necessarily be those of Nevada State Bank. Nevada State Bank is a division of Zions Bancorporation, N.A. Member FDIC