Need advice on a business venture I’m starting with some friends!

What is a normal/fair percentage of a business to receive in a partnership for helping start a business when you're not contributing money to the business venture, but doing most the work?

I'm starting a new business venture with a couple friends who are going to sell antler as chew toys for dogs (they make wood and antler rings and always have tons of excess antler) and they want me to help them start and run it. They haven't worked out a ton of the details but they want to do it as a partnership and give me a certain percentage of the company.

When I asked what percentage they had in mind they said 15-20% but that they hadn't thought about it a whole lot, they were just kind of throwing the whole idea out there. I think if I were to not help BUILD the business – basically just run the website and Etsy shop – then 15-20% would be fair, but if I'm going to be reaching out to collaborators, coming up with additional product ideas, and really helping build this business from the ground up, I think that's too low.

If the latter is what they want and expect from me I would think 35-45% would be fair, they would MOSTLY be providing the money and then I'd be doing the rest. One of their other employees would be handling the advertising because that is something I'm not great at.

I have literally zero experience in this (other than what I watch Marcus Lemonis do on The Profit… Haha!) so I would really appreciate some insight on this from people who are in partnerships! Thank you!!


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