Partner with people you trust. My first piece of advice for any budding entrepreneur, and one I always overstate is, "Trust is essential." If you have any doubts about a potential partner, clear the air or steer clear completely. As John Doerr of Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers puts it, "You must ask, 'Are these the people I want to be in trouble with for the next 5, 10, 15 years of my life?' Because as you build a new business, one thing's for sure: You will get into trouble."Trust is quite possibly the most critical component of business, in many aspects. Companies must instill trust in their brand for people to buy product, large employers must instill trust in the institution for people to want to work, deal-makers must instill trust in participating parties for transactions to happen, management must instill trust in the financial community to find capital, religious leaders must instill trust that their deity is supportive to followers, governments must instill trust in the system to attract the capital markets, and entrepreneurs must instill trust in everyone around them to succeed.
An entrepreneur must foster trust to recruit & retain top notch staff, raise early financing, close early customers, and build a product brand.
On a more individual note, at the end of the day, no matter what legal counsel says, we as individual people succeed (in work, socially, and otherwise) only because of our word & reputation. Trust is golden.