...or why to avoid a business partner at all costs.
Well, not always. Over-generalization can be a problem with me sometimes.
I can only offer four short pieces of advice on whether or not to take on a partner in your business.
1. Talk about ownership before you begin planning. You don't want to get so far into the planning and building stages that major damage can be done by splitting ways with a partner.
2. No money, no ownership. If you are bringing money to the table, your prospective partner must bring money as well. Sweat equity is not enough, especially if your partner expects to collect a salary. No risk, no reward, right?
3. Consult a lawyer. Don't do what you "think" seems right to you. Especially if you have no previous experience in dividing a business.
4. And most importantly, it's business. It may make you uncomfortable to ask for what you want or need or to play hardball with someone you might consider to be a friend. But you need to do it because starting a business is a financial and personal risk. So take a step back to make sure you are doing what is best for your future.