So I have a start up I am working on and given that I am a technical person I have been out looking for a business co-founder. I approached a former co-worker of mine with business experience and presented the idea. He liked it and so we took it to the next stage and started discussing if there was a possible business partnership here. One of my questions related to his personal credit score. It turns out his credit history is pretty lousy. So my question is first, how much would this effect the business getting angel funding if I did bring him on? I am guessing quite significantly. Second, what if I brought him on as more of an employee paid with sweat equity of say 5-10%? Do you think that would still have a similar effect on funding?
I think the first thing you have to look at is do you trust him and do you fit together for this project. Co-founders are often described as being a married couple. You will go through many ups and downs. So you need to both be right for the project.
As it pertains to his credit, go with your gut. If it is throwing a flag, then I would not proceed.
@menuflavors makes an excellent point about founders being like a married couple.
The credit thing is a red flag that you need to discuss. Don't avoid it. Put it out in the open and see how he reacts. Do it in a respectful way but deal with it quickly. The reaction will be a key indicator on how he deals with difficult situations.
If he gets defensive and avoids the issue, run away. As a co-founder, ALL your issues are his issues and vice versa.
This is actually a real good test of how you guys will work together.