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What should you bring a "business guy" on for?  

Rob Walling:

For example, here are four areas I've heard mentioned by developers when discussing finding a partner with business experience:

  • Business filings and structure
  • Taxes
  • Banking
  • Payment gateway / merchant account

Aside from "to kick me in the head twice a day" these may be the worst reasons ever for finding a business partner.

Each of the above "business-y" things can be handled either with a few hours of research, or by hiring an experiences professional (lawyer, accountant, etc…). Giving up equity to someone to handle what amounts to administrative duties is a huge mistake.

Couldn't agree more. Not only that, but unless you're capable of understanding and handling things like business filings and structure, taxes and banking, it's not really your business. You're not in control.

Rob goes on to suggest that the only good reason to bring on a "business guy" is if they have successful marketing experience.

I think that's limiting things a bit. There are many other non-technical competencies which might be critical to your startup (business development, customer relations, design, logistics, etc.). The key is, you should only bring on more founders if they bring something so critical to the table that the startup is worth a lot more with them than without them. If you're a single founder, one way to think about it is, whoever you take on as an equal cofounder should more than double the value of the business (and obviously so, not in a hypothetical sense).

More from the library:
Commit to being an entrepreneur
The startup founder dropout lie
Advisors: stop screwing startups