Husband-and-wife enterprises are common in the small business sector, with one-third of young Australian firms made up of spousal or de facto couples. But doing business with your spouse or partner spawns a set of problems different to those faced by sole traders or parent–child family businesses. These specific problems can be spectacularly clear when the pressures of running a business collide with marital stresses such as managing mortgages and bringing up the kids.
So what are the most common problems faced by spousal businesses and what are the secrets to succeeding?
Set rules at the start