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Paul – FS Concierge
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Pure due diligence is a little difficult unless you are both willing to offer an extreme level of transparency to each other eg, show bank accounts, ring customers etc.

All that said, if you both see merit in partnering, could you do a staged process similar to what Dave has said, initially with little capital or branding at risk, and then gradually deepening same when you are each satisfied that it is a good fit.

I have found that values more than anything else need to be in alignment with partnerships because when the chips are down and difficult decisions need to be made, you values will often determine what way you want to head. And values kind of form part of of your “essential being” so it hurts a lot if they are challenged or if you are not able to operate through that prism.