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UK home to 1.4 million ‘copreneurs’

Women who own a business with their partner earn 27% more than before entering into a ‘copreneurial’ relationship

1.4 million of the UK’s 4.7 million family-owned businesses are estimated to be run by couples (dubbed ‘copreneurs'), according to research from FreeAgent.

This figure is expected to rise as a recent survey found that 10% of UK workers would like to start a business within the year – many in partnership with their significant other.

Seperate research from the Harvard Business Review found that women who start a business with their partner earn 27% more than before they were in a ‘copreneur' relationship. In relationships with just one entrepreneur, women earned 33% less than ‘copreneurs'.

Ed Molyneux, co-founder of FreeAgent, said: “While many will choose to go solo, we believe that there will be a significant number who decide to team up with their partner to start and run a business together.

“That’s because it’s a potentially great move for couples to make with their careers – as you’ll be able to co-ordinate your work around your family commitments, share your passion with your soul-mate and have all of your household and business finances in one place.”

Yet, given this rise in ‘copreneurs', solicitor Karen Holden has some words of warning. Holden has advised married entrepreneurial couples to prepare for a divorce – no matter how unlikely it may seem – by creating a written founders agreement and a pre or post-nuptial agreement. Read more on this here.

Henry Williams
Henry Williams

Henry has been writing for since 2015, covering everything from business finance and web builders to tax and red tape. He’s also contributed to many of our industry-renowned annual indexes, including Startups 100 and Young Guns, and created a number of the site’s popular how to guides. Before joining the team, he reviewed films for a culture website, and still harbours ambitions of being a screenwriter.


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