I have an established small yet growing business and just recently bought out my business partner. The company was founded in my youth, not in a smart or correct way, I did not know what I was doing. I was burned. I connected with another individual who is very interested and experienced with goals of being a partner in my business, and I have no idea how to make an attractive offer that makes sense but also protects me. Is it over the course of a few years? Any help much appreciated!
It depends on what you need from them.
I usually like to define investments in such a way that there isn't someone trying to dictate how the business is run.
That's what happens when you get a partner. They own part of the business and you have to listen to them.
It takes real maturity and organization to make a true partnership work.
If you just need an employee and maybe some of their money as an investment, then you should structure things differently.
I suggest my book, Invest Local, which is full of non-equity ways to structure investments in local small businesses.