Hello, I have a question about starting a JV with a person who I have only recently met and looking for advice on what comes first. I think a little background would be very useful: Basically, the other guy reached out to me a few months ago on LinkedIn about a venture. He is the business/product guy and I am a software engineer who can build the product for him. He has issued me with a mutual NDA which I will need to sign soon - That said, I have concerns about transferring of 50% of idea/IP to me if I enter into a partnership with him. We have discussed stuff at a high level and we are kind of both curious about next steps. Some high level notes He kind of wants me to build a demo for him in the interest of running a pilot in a local friendly business. There is no type of formal agreement in place to cover any kind of outcomes. I have only met the guy twice so far and chatted on the phone once along with exchanging a few messages. While I have no reason to doubt his authenticity, I, by default don't trust people and need assurances etc before I start to spend any time / money on this. He has told me he has a company (I can't find it in companies house) that "represents him" and that he would use it for the venture, and could give me 50% of said company. I would rather a new company. He is kind of in a static position right now with the idea and connections to deploy said project. There will be significant effort by me to build a product. So my question is kind of simple. What comes first after two parties come together to help build a business. Do we formalise an agreement where we have a new company with equal shareholding and some kind of legal agreement between us. Because we don't know each other I think this is kind of required and may be costly. Considering there will be significant outlay by way of my time to build the product is it reasonable for me to request him to pay for formalising all of this stuff. I ask this because I will pay in time to build product and he also can't do anything without a developer to build product. Feels like we are in a kind of catch 22 / chicken and egg situation. My feeling is that if the guy isn't serious about formalising the relationship then I may need walk.