What Does the Bible Say About Business Partnerships?

Choosing the right business partners is almost as important as choosing the right spouse.

Going in to business with someone is a lot like marrying them — come good times or bad, your life will be linked to theirs for a long time. You probably wouldn’t get married without asking God what makes a good spouse. So, what does the Bible say about business partnerships?

My wife is amazing, and I thank God for her every day. She makes my life richer in every way. But what if I had married the wrong person, someone who only made life worse?

Nobody wants to live with a spouse who makes them miserable. But that’s a lot like what happens when you go into business with the wrong person.

Just like it’s a bad idea to get married to a jerk, it’s also a bad idea to go into business with one. Doing so may seem attractive at first, but in the long run it will cause you nothing but pain.

In the church, leaders often warn Christian young people not to get into romantic entanglements with people who don’t share their faith. They do so based on II Corinthians 6:14:

Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?

This scripture makes a powerful point about marriage — a righteous person and a wicked person can’t share a healthy relationship bond, because light can’t have fellowship with darkness. Many young Christians ignore this wisdom in a rush to get married pay a high price in the end. Many Christian business owners have learned similar lessons.

What Does the Bible Say About Business Partnerships? The Same Thing it Says About Marriage.

The wisdom found in this commandment applies just as much to business partnerships as it does to life partnerships. If you’re partners with someone in business, you’re likely to work very closely with them on a daily basis. Your finances are inextricably linked to theirs. You share in their business successes, and if they make a huge mistake, it can cost you.

In a marriage, the sins of unbelievers can wreck a family. Think of the stories you’ve heard about addiction or abuse ruining marriages. Now think about how those same problems would impact a business. The moral failures of a business partner can cripple your company and ruin you financially, even if you’ve personally done nothing wrong.

There’s no getting around it — anytime you form a partnership with someone there’s risk involved, whether you’re talking about marriage or business. The quality of your partners’ character and the level of integrity in their lives is going to have a big impact on the quality of your life.

Should You Avoid Business Partnerships Altogether?

Some financial teachers tell their followers to steer clear of partnership altogether. I think that teaching is painting with too broad a brush. Rather than avoiding something altogether that may have potential upside for you, I would recommend using the wisdom of scripture to figure out who you should and shouldn’t be in business with.

I would start with the II Corinthians advice about being unequally yoked together with an unbeliever. If you have a business partner that doesn’t recognize God’s authority in their lives, their personal sin is eventually going to creep into your business relationship. You could end up paying a price for their shortcomings.

It can be helpful to vet potential business partners like you would potential spouses. Do they share the same values, vision and goals that you do? Are they kind, loving and friendly? Are they generous? Do they have strong character and integrity? Are they trustworthy? Are they fun to be around?

If the answer to any of these questions is “no,” you probably don’t want to go into business with this person. It’s tempting to rush into business with a partner simply because they bring a lot of desirable skills, assets or capital to the equation. But when you partner with someone, you don’t get just their skills and money — you also get their flaws and baggage as well.

Getting Smart About Business

Think long and hard about who you’re willing to do business with. If you wouldn’t want to marry a person (or wouldn’t want your brother or sister to marry them), why would you want to be in business with them?

Partnerships don’t have to be failures. Use the Bible’s wisdom as a guide, and you can enjoy great relationships at work and at home.

If you’re thinking of starting a business, you probably have lots of questions. In addition to asking “what does the Bible say about business partnerships?” you’re probably also wondering about the best ways to handle your money and maximize your chances for success.

God's Master Plan For Your MoneyI’d love to help you find answers to your questions. For years, I have been helping people discover freedom in their financial lives by teaching them what the Bible says about money. It would be my honor to do the same for you. My free e-book, “God’s Master Plan for Your Money,” is full of practical tips, wisdom and encouragement to help you reach your full potential. You can get it free today by filling out this form:

Let’s get started on the road to success together. God has amazing things in store for you!

Brian Jewell

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