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Determining partner equity

What is the fair equity percentage for a partner who has contributed essential technical services, while I put up most of the capital? 
There are no mathematical formulae for this question. Your challenge is balancing the equities between the different commodities of cash and personal contribution. One way to do this is to try to quantify what it would have cost if you had to hire the work your partner did.

You should also consider how much each partner has shared in the risk and success. You used the word "essential" to describe your partner's contribution of expertise. If it can be argued that the partnership could not have worked without either of you, it could also be argued that you are more equal than not.

Consider a plan that allows your partner to earn additional equity over time as you draw funds from the partnership to return your start-up capital with an agreed upon rate of return.

And remember: Always seek legal advice in drafting any partnership agreements. 
Brain Trust contributor: Author of Hurdle: The Book on Business Planning President, Palo Alto Software
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