A business partner is a commercial entity with which another commercial entity has some form of alliance. This relationship may be a contractual, exclusive bond in which both entities commit not to ally with third parties. Alternatively, it may be a very loose arrangement designed largely to impress customers and competitors with the size of the network the business partners belong to.
Business mating (partnership formation)
A business partner or alliance can be crucial for businesses. However, businesses can not choose business partners in any way they want. In many instances, the potential partner might not be interested in forming a business relationship, also known as business mating. It is important that both sides of the agreement complement each other, but also that there are some common ground. For example in management style, mindset, and also technology. If, for example, management style would be too different between the firms then a partnership could be problematic. Kask and Linton (2013) investigate under what conditions business mating (formation) takes place for startup firms seeking business partners.