6 Tips for Before You Say ‘I Do’ to Business With a Spouse

No. 1: Choose -- and agree to follow -- the leader.

Figure out right away the role for each spouse. In many marriages today, even though we're a more enlightened society, the husband often takes on the role of head of the household. How will that play out with the business, especially if the venture was the brainchild of the wife? Figure out who will be the leader of the company, said journalist Eve Tahmincioglu, who covers workplace and labor issues.

No. 2: Erect a wall and definitely keep it around the bedroom.

While it's impossible to keep work and home life totally separate, couples have to do their best to have off-the-clock couple time, and they have to create boundaries when it comes to bringing family issues into the office or factory floor, Tahmincioglu said.

Business and career coach Tamara Monosoff agreed. She said your business will suffer if relationship issues color your workdays, so business talk should never be allowed in the bedroom.

No. 3: Find an outside mediator.

Sometimes a couple will reach an impasse while making a decision. Because you're so emotionally invested in one another, the risk of hurting your spouse's feelings is high. Tahmincioglu said she's always found that successful entrepreneurs have mentors or other business people they trust. This sort of person would be a great source to help mediate any sticky business decisions that crop up.

No. 4: Make sure you are on the same page.

Before a couple even considers joining forces to form a company, they have to make sure they have a shared vision for the product or service they'll be selling. Since you could be sacrificing your most important relationship (your marriage) you want to make sure that the two of you have the same goals from the outset, or you'll be doomed, warned Tahmincioglu.

No. 5: Establish formal communications.

Just as you would with any business partner, create scheduled meetings at regular intervals, to separate business from personal time during family dinners and outings, said Monosoff.

No. 6: Always respect each other on a professional level.

Treat one another as you would any other business partner. Being married shouldn't be an excuse to dismiss each other's ideas or be disrespectful. This is especially true when you are with your vendors, potential business partners or employees, said Monosoff.