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How to vet a potential partner?

artofmissionartofmission subscriber Posts: 1
edited April 2009 in Thought Leadership
My wife and I have a small startup SaaS business aimed at the non-profit sector. We`ve been open for just under a year now. We`re completely bootstrapped, and all the development and work has been financed by my software consulting business. If I had to guess, I`d say I have at least $100k of sweat equity in the business. 
Now we have started to turn a profit! The business is growing, but not fast enough. Additionally, I see my competition heating up, and I want to grow faster to keep ahead. 
Recently we were approached by a person who wants to partner with us. The way he sees it, he`s good at business development and sales, and I`m good at product development. If we partner, he could work on growing the business, and i could work on improving the product and adding features to stay competitive. It seems like a good match. Neither of us need cash out of the deal, so I`m not sure what the structure of a partnership deal would look like. In any case, my question is this: How should I vet this person to 1) make sure he`s legit, 2) make sure I can trust him, and 3) make sure we`ll get along. My other question is - how could (or should) a business arrangement be structured so that I maintain my interest in and control of the company without diluting our ownership too much while still making it worth his while? Thanks in advance for your advice! 
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