What Does the Bible Say About Business Partnerships?
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What Does the Bible Say About Business Partnerships?

Business partnerships are a common part of economic life. Many people go into business with partners to start companies or engage in joint ventures. What guidance does the Bible provide on this topic? As Christians, we want to make sure we follow godly principles in all areas of life, including business.


The Bible has quite a bit to say about relationships in general that applies to partnerships. God’s Word provides wisdom on choosing righteous partners, being fair and honest, handling conflicts, and putting spiritual priorities first. While the Bible does not directly address modern business entities, its principles on partnerships and brotherly relations are very relevant today.

This article will provide a comprehensive overview of Bible verses and passages related to business partnerships. Key principles covered include:

  • Seek godly, trustworthy partners
  • Be truthful and fair in all dealings
  • Avoid unrighteous partners and influences
  • Resolve conflicts quickly and honestly
  • Prioritize spiritual truth over profit
  • Help and support your partner
  • Use partnerships to serve others

Whether starting a small business or a major corporation, these biblical standards on relationships and ethics apply. God cares about how Christians conduct themselves in all aspects of life. Wise business leaders heed scriptural guidance on partnerships.

Choosing Righteous Partners

One of the most important decisions in starting a business partnership is choosing who to go into business with. Several verses indicate the importance of partnering with righteous people who uphold godly principles:

“Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness?” (2 Corinthians 6:14)

This verse speaks strongly against being closely tied to nonbelievers, which includes business partnerships. One should not expect to have true fellowship or common purpose with those who do not share biblical values.

“He who walks with wise men will be wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm.” (Proverbs 13:20)

This proverb contrasting wise and foolish companions applies very much to choosing business partners. Partnering with wise, righteous colleagues results in blessings and success. But choosing morally compromised partners leads to harm and damage.

“Do not be deceived: Bad company corrupts good morals.” (1 Corinthians 15:33)

Ungodly business partners can lead believers astray. Maintaining high ethical standards will be very difficult in close association with those who do not share biblical values. It is important to partner with those who will encourage godly behavior.

These and other verses make it clear that Christians should be very selective in choosing business partners. Seeking spiritually mature, ethical believers as partners provides the best chance for a successful, God-honoring business. Unequal partnerships with nonbelievers or unscrupulous partners must be avoided.

Being Truthful and Fair

Honesty and fairness are essential in healthy business partnerships. Several biblical principles instruct business people to act with integrity:

“A righteous man hates falsehood, but a wicked man acts disgustingly and shamefully.” (Proverbs 13:5)

Lying and deceit should have no place in a business run on Christian principles. Partners must be able to trust each other fully.

“Differing weights are an abomination to the Lord, and a false scale is not good.” (Proverbs 20:23)

Using dishonest business practices like false weights and measurements are clearly wrong. Partners must be ethical in all dealings.

“Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves.” (Philippians 2:3)

Christian partners should not be selfish or prideful but should treat associates with deference. Focusing on the interests of others produces fairness and equity.

Many other verses prohibit dishonest gain and commanding treating others justly. Truthfulness and fairness should be guiding values that promote trust and unity among partners.

Avoiding Ungodly Partnerships

Some business relationships are clearly incompatible for followers of Christ:

“Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness?” (2 Corinthians 6:14)

Partnering with nonbelievers or unethical companies in ways that promote ungodly products or services must be avoided. For example, a Christian should not go into business with a company distributing pornography.

“No one can serve two masters.” (Matthew 6:24)

Trying to operate a business partnership with divided spiritual loyalties will run into trouble. Loyalty to God and following His standards must take priority.

“Abstain from every form of evil.” (1 Thessalonians 5:22)

Avoid partnering with any business engaged in clearly unbiblical activities. For example, a gambling establishment would be an unsuitable partnership.

Of course, believers have to conduct routine business transactions with nonbelievers in society. But being joined together in a partnership or ownership relationship is normally prohibited with those engaged in immoral enterprises.

Resolving Conflicts

Even the best partnerships experience conflicts on occasion. Scripture gives healthy principles for resolving differences:

“Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice.” (Ephesians 4:31)

Harboring resentment and anger can poison a partnership. Disagreements should be worked out constructively, without hostility or verbal abuse.

“But if you bite and devour one another, take care that you are not consumed by one another.” (Galatians 5:15)

Allowing conflict to spiral outward can destroy a partnership. Partners should have mechanisms in place to resolve issues quickly before they escalate.

“Do not say, ‘I will repay evil’; wait for the Lord, and he will deliver you.” (Proverbs 20:22)

Seeking vengeance when wronged, whether real or perceived, inflames conflict. It is best to trust God to deal justly with partners who violate agreements.

Maintaining fellowship and communication is also essential during times of friction:

“Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ.” (Ephesians 4:15)

Speak truthfully during disputes, but with restraint and consideration. The goal is to grow spiritually closer, not drift apart over monetary issues.

“Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.” (Colossians 4:6)

Seasoned speech is wise and careful, not reactionary. Think before answering during heated discussions.

By following these principles, business partners can resolve issues quickly and professionally, restoring damaged relationships.

Prioritizing Spiritual Truth over Profit

Earthly riches should not be the supreme goal of Christian business partners:

“For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul?” (Mark 8:36)

The pursuit of wealth can lead to moral compromise and spiritual ruin. The eternal destiny of oneself and others should take priority over money-making.

“Godliness with contentment is great gain…But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils.” (1 Timothy 6:6,9-10)

Desiring riches corrupts character and causes immense harm. Be satisfied with what God provides while living out His priorities.

“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Matthew 6:19-21)

Partners must not get caught up in greed but stay focused on eternal rewards, not temporary earthly wealth. True fulfillment comes from knowing God, not business success.

Keeping business goals in proper perspective ensures proper motives and conduct. Seek first God’s Kingdom and righteousness.

Helping and Supporting Partners

Partners should actively encourage each other and help bear burdens:

“Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” (Galatians 6:2)

Follow Christ’s example by assisting partners experiencing hard times, both personally and professionally.

“Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up!” (Ecclesiastes 4:9-10)

Having the support and strength of partners is a blessing. Provide wise counsel and restoration to those struggling.

“Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm.” (Proverbs 13:20)

Closely interacting with wise, godly partners rubs off and makes each individual better. Foolish partners have the opposite effect.

A partnership where members truly care for each other and bear each other’s burdens faithfully exemplifies God’s love.

Using Partnerships to Serve Others

Business partnerships do not exist solely for profit. They also provide an opportunity to do good and meet needs:

“As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy. They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share.” (1 Timothy 6:17-18)

Wealthy partners should use their business resources generously to serve community needs and fund ministry efforts.

“And masters, treat your slaves in the same way. Do not threaten them, since you know that he who is both their Master and yours is in heaven, and there is no favoritism with him.” (Ephesians 6:9)

Bosses, managers and partners should treat employees respectfully as joint servants of the Lord. Abuse of position is wrong.

“Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.” (Romans 12:13)

Operate the business in a manner enabling the partners to be generous to the needs of God’s people and others.

Operating a business in a God-honoring manner enables partners to be a source of blessing, generosity and aid to others. This advances Kingdom purposes.


This survey provides a comprehensive overview of principles found in the Bible related to business partnerships. Major themes covered include choosing partners carefully, maintaining righteous standards, being generous, and resolving conflicts in a godly manner. Additional areas for further study are submitting to governmental authority and paying taxes (Romans 13:1-7, Matthew 22:15-22) and honest labor practices (Colossians 3:22-25).

Operating business partnerships according to biblical standards requires great wisdom and the guidance of the Holy Spirit. But what a tremendous opportunity this is to operate according to God’s standards and be salt and light in the business community! As the Lord said in Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans I have for you…plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Following His guidelines leads to great blessing.

Key Takeaways:

  • Seek spiritually mature, ethical believers as partners
  • Be completely truthful and fair in all business dealings
  • Avoid partnerships furthering ungodly purposes
  • Resolve conflicts constructively while restoring relationships
  • Do not allow greed for riches to corrupt your character
  • Encourage and practically support your business partners
  • Use business partnerships as opportunities for generosity and meeting needs
Pastor Duke Taber
Pastor Duke Taber

Pastor Duke Taber

All articles have been written or reviewed by Pastor Duke Taber.
Pastor Duke Taber is an alumnus of Life Pacific University and Multnomah Biblical Seminary.
He has been in pastoral ministry since 1988.
Today he is the owner and managing editor of 3 successful Christian websites that support missionaries around the world.
He is currently starting a brand new church in Mesquite NV called Mesquite Worship Center, a Non-Denominational Spirit Filled Christian church in Mesquite Nevada.