Is Starting a Business With Your Significant Other a Good Idea?

Many couples consider the idea of starting a business together, but they need to carefully weigh the potential benefits and drawbacks before taking any steps.

Running a business with your romantic partner can offer numerous advantages and foster a strong foundation for both personal and professional success. However, there are also disadvantages to consider.

Despite the potential obstacles, several successful companies have been founded and led by couples. Each couple’s journey highlights the complexities and rewards of combining personal and professional partnerships.


Advantages of Running a Business with Your Romantic Partner:


  • Mutual Support: Working together means having built-in support for each other’s work challenges, reducing stress and fostering a sense of teamwork.
  • Shared Vision: Couples are often deeply invested in each other’s success, leading to a shared commitment to the business’s success.
  • Familiarity: Knowing each other’s strengths, weaknesses, and body language can streamline communication and decision-making.
  • Trust: Established trust from the relationship can translate into a strong foundation for the business partnership.
  • Quality Time: Spending 24/7 together can strengthen the bond and enhance the enjoyment of each other’s company.
  • Complementary Skills: Couples can bring different skills and backgrounds to the table, enhancing the overall capabilities of the business.
  • Aligned Values: Shared values and goals can drive the business forward with a unified purpose.



Disadvantages of Running a Business with Your Romantic Partner:


  • Blurred Boundaries: Difficulty in separating work and personal life can lead to conflicts spilling over from one domain to the other.
  • Disagreements: Differing opinions on business matters can strain both the professional and personal relationship.
  • Constant Togetherness: While spending time together can be a benefit, it can also become overwhelming, requiring intentional efforts to maintain individual space.
  • Role Adjustment: Transitioning from a personal relationship to a professional one may require redefining roles and adjusting to new workplace dynamics.
  • Ego Challenges: Addressing societal gender norms and ego clashes may be necessary to establish equality and mutual respect in the business partnership.
  • Communication Struggles: Difficulty distinguishing between personal and professional issues can complicate communication and conflict resolution.
  • Patience and Self-Work: Navigating changes and challenges in the relationship and business requires patience, self-awareness, and continuous personal growth.


5 Successful Companies Founded By Couples


Alex & Leila Hormozi – Acquisition. com



Alex and Leila Hormozi met in 2016 through an online dating app and many may argue they that are the epitome of what a true power couple is. As the CEO and CO-CEO of 4 successful companies that have had exponential growth in the last 5 years, they have established themselves as both authoritative and hyper-influential figures in the field of startups/entrepreneurship.

The couple established several businesses, including Gym Launch, a coaching and service company; Prestige Labs, a supplement company that uses high-quality ingredients to create excellent products; ALAN, a software company that assists SMBs in generating leads; and Acquisitions. com, which helps small to mid-sized businesses grow their enterprise value using private equity best practices while retaining majority interest.

Alex and Leila remain happily married. As a couple, their net worth is approximately £18.4 million.


Kate and Andy Spade – Kate Spade New York


Kate Spade

In 1993, Kate Brosnahan, then working in the accessories department at Mademoiselle magazine, started her own brand, Kate Spade New York, with her future husband Andy Spade, whom she met in college. By 2006, they sold their shares in the company and reportedly made £71.3 million.

In 2017, Coach acquired the Kate Spade brand for £1.8 billion. However, since they had already sold their shares, the couple didn’t profit from the acquisition. The previous year, they launched Frances Valentine, a new accessory line named after their daughter and a beloved family name.


Don and Jin Sook Chang – Forever 21



Do Won and Jin Sook Chang migrated from South Korea to the UK in 1981. After three years, they invested $11,000 of their savings to establish a clothing store in Los Angeles, initially named Fashion 21. Over time, this store evolved into the global fast fashion brand Forever 21. At its peak, the Changs amassed a combined net worth of £4.3 billion. However, the business faced challenges in subsequent years.

In 2019, Forever 21 filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, closing operations in over 40 countries. The following year, the company agreed to sell its assets to a group of mall operators for £59.7 million. Despite the downturn, Do Won and Jin Sook Chang still retain an estimated net worth of £1.1 billion.


Gianluigi and Rafaela Aponte – MSC



Gianluigi Aponte, a former ship’s captain, met Swiss tourist Rafaela during one of his voyages. In 1970, they founded a cargo shipping company, Mediterranean Shipping (now MSC), using their $5,000 in savings. Today, MSC ranks as the world’s second-largest shipping line, trailing only AP Møller Maersk.

Although Captain Aponte retired from day-to-day operations in 2014, he still serves as the group’s executive chairman. Soren Toft, former COO of Maersk, now leads the company as CEO. According to Forbes, Gianluigi and Rafaela Aponte boast a combined net worth of £8.2 billion.


Bill and Melinda Gates – Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation


bill gates

Bill Gates, co-founder and former CEO of Microsoft, asked company product manager Melinda French out on a date in 1987. They tied the knot in 1994 and together have contributed over £26.5 billion to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the largest philanthropic organisation globally. Through their foundation, the couple has focused on enhancing global health and reducing child mortality.

In 2021, after 27 years of marriage, Bill and Melinda announced their divorce. Despite this, they committed to collaborating on the foundation, where they both serve as co-chairs. Melinda, with a net worth of £4.6 billion, expressed their shared belief in the foundation’s mission. Bill Gates currently holds the position of the world’s fourth wealthiest individual, amassing a fortune of £103.3 billion.


The Bottom Line


Numerous prosperous companies have been established by couples. However, such ventures require careful thought and proactive management of both professional and personal dynamics. By making informed decisions about embarking on entrepreneurial ventures together, couples can effectively handle the potential benefits and challenges.