The Challenges and Rewards of Being Married Business Partners

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their businesses. A limited liability corporation is a hybrid of a partnership and a corporation in which the owners have #limited personal liability and all profits and losses pass directly to them without taxation of the entity itself. The operating agreement, drafted by Teresa and reviewed by their attorney, provides the #couple with some personal protection from business liabilities due to injury, the dissolution of their marriage, or if the business begins to suffer financially for other reasons.

After operating the Denny’s for nearly a decade, Teresa stopped practicing law to work with Anthony in launching a Del Taco franchise. In December 2005, the Macks raised $500,000 for the restaurant under a separate limited liability corporation, Della Foods L.L.C., but sold it 13 months later due to less than desirable sales. The Del Taco grossed $860,000 in 2006 and $450,000 in the first half of 2007.

The couple works jointly on administrative and creative tasks. Anthony is #responsible for the operational side of the business including managing the store, marketing, and customer service, while Teresa handles legal and accounting #matters for the restaurant from home. “We support each other, not just financially but morally and spiritually,” Anthony says. He makes a point of reserving every Saturday for family time.

Learning to respect each other’s strengths and weaknesses and allowing each other the freedom to make decisions within their respective areas of expertise keeps both the business and their relationship strong. “You have to focus on the relationship first,” says Teresa. “If the relationship is solid then your business has a better chance to be successful.”

Resources for Your Family Business
You can find helpful, dependable advice in your area by contacting SCORE, which provides free, confidential counseling for small businesses. SCORE has offices throughout the country and works in conjunction with the U.S. Small Business Administration. Visit or call 800-634-0245.
Key Resources is an international company that provides consulting, training, and educational services to small and family businesses. Visit www.familybusiness

Do You Have What it Takes to be a Copreneur
Take this quick quiz.
1 Would you describe your marriage as:
a. a happy constant
b. a good compromise
c. a roller coaster

2 Would you describe your partner as:
a. a superb business brain
b. smart in parts
c. charming but unreliable

3 Is your partner:
a. different from you-but complementary
b. similar to you but with different areas of expertise
c. sometimes better, sometimes
worse than you

4 Do you resolve differences by:
a. discussion, debate, resolution
b. ignoring them
c. knowing how to win

5 When something makes you #unhappy, do you:
a. discuss it at once
b. wait to see what happens
c. wait for it to go away

6 How would you describe your #current financial #position:
a. solid but open to improvement
b. fragile
c. perilous

7 In business, is your family:
a. wholeheartedly supportive
b. puzzled
c. negative
In management, would you say you are:
a. effective at setting boundaries
and delegating responsibilities
b. not much bothered by who does what
c. good at knowing the right way to do things

8 Being an entrepreneur is important to you because:
a. you love building something from scratch
b. you like being the boss
c. you enjoy