Thank you for your thorough reply, and yes everything you say makes sense. If its ok, a few followup points......
• I understand that I have no control over any process after a visitor lands on the web site. However since I am a web designer I can or have them make edits to the site that will raise the probability of better ROI. • In my professional opinion, from talking with the guy, and knowing my friend who referred him to me, he is driven and wants to make this is primary business, so I have little doubt that once we start, he will not screw around... of course this is my opinion and it is a risk that I consider low
• The only bad part is the business is in high competition, especially online... we will try to extract some niche portions of the business to exploit, and that is up for discussion still... if we cannot find that, I will probably stay away
• I personally do not think it is fair to compare utility type bills to "additional services" type of bills. I understand building a web site without any marketing is basically suicide today in competitive markets, but if i charge him hourly, what he may deem is "necessary" might be a budget of like $300 for example. Honestly, I do not need to rob someone of $300 to basically scratch the surface of effectiveness. We all know an honest internet marketer should admit that very little can be done for $300. If he were a family member or friend, I would rather charge that and train him how to do it himself. However, I am in the business of wanting some long term income, not a quick buck, therefore, I feel like a partnership was a better option, especially when he also seemed interested in that.
I guess my fear is that the percentages may be unreasonable. I have had experience with this, and many startup people over-value their company, or whatever they have, even though they have no or very little income coming in. Doing this for say, a 10% share is just worthless as well, because I dont see this company making thousands in the first month, or even in the second or third, even though it will take me a lot of hours to build up the initial phases of marketing.
Hence we go back to my initial query of how do I protect myself in the long term, where for the first ~6 months, I put in like 10-15 hours per week in marketing/content alone, very little income, and then some things start clicking and we start seeing a nice cash flow for the next 6, and then he thinks, well, we are going well now, we dont need much more marketing anymore, so lets get rid of him and continue with what we have.
I guess I'll just have to have a lawyer write up a partnership agreement where it states the majority owners can not buy me out without my consent or without a compensation package that I must agree to?