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Joint Venture

A joint venture (JV) is a business agreement in which the parties agree to develop, for a finite time, a new entity and new assets by contributing equity.

A joint venture (JV) is a business arrangement in which two or more parties agree to pool their resources for the purpose of accomplishing a specific task. This task can be a new project or any other business activity. In a joint venture (JV), each of the participants is responsible for profits, losses and costs associated with it. However, the venture is its own entity, separate and apart from the participants’ other business interests.

Although they are a partnership in the colloquial sense of the word, JVs can take on any legal structure. Corporations, partnerships, limited liability companies and other business entities can all be used to form a JV.

Regardless of the legal structure used for the JV, the most important document will be the JV agreement that sets out all of the partners’ rights and obligations. The objectives of the JV, the initial contributions of the partners, the day-to-day operations and the right to the profits (and responsibility for losses) of the JV are all set out in this document. It is important to draft it with care, to avoid litigation down the road.

A common use of JVs is to partner up with a local business to enter a foreign market. A company that wants to expand its distribution network to new countries can usefully enter into a JV agreement to supply products to a local business, thus benefiting from an already existing distribution network. Some countries also have restrictions on foreigners entering their market, making a JV with a local entity almost the only way into the country.

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