What Is the Difference between a Teaming Agreement and a Joint Venture

As businesses look to explore new opportunities or expand their offerings, they often consider collaborating with other companies. In doing so, they may consider entering into a teaming agreement or a joint venture. While these two terms may seem interchangeable, they have distinct differences that should be understood before entering into either.

What is a Teaming Agreement?

A teaming agreement is a contractual agreement between two or more parties that outlines their intentions to collaborate on a specific project or task. In a teaming agreement, each party retains its own identity and independence. The purpose of a teaming agreement is to allow the parties to combine their respective strengths and resources to accomplish a common goal.

The teaming agreement typically outlines the roles and responsibilities of each party, including the tasks that each party is responsible for and the contributions that each party will make to the project. The agreement also typically contains provisions outlining how the parties will handle confidential information, how they will resolve disputes, and how they will share profits or losses resulting from the collaboration.

What is a Joint Venture?

A joint venture is a business relationship in which two or more parties pool their resources to create a new, separate entity to pursue a specific business objective. In a joint venture, the parties share ownership, control, and risks.

Unlike a teaming agreement, a joint venture creates a new legal entity, and the parties involved in the joint venture are jointly and severally liable for the debts and obligations of the joint venture. This means that each party involved assumes an equal share of the financial risk associated with the venture.

The joint venture agreement sets out the terms of the relationship between the parties, including how the new entity will be structured, how profits and losses will be allocated, how management decisions will be made, and how the joint venture will be terminated.

Key Differences Between Teaming Agreements and Joint Ventures

The primary difference between a teaming agreement and a joint venture is the level of integration between the parties involved. In a teaming agreement, the parties remain separate entities and retain their respective identities and independence, while in a joint venture, the parties create a new entity that they jointly own and operate.

Another key difference is the level of financial risk involved. In a teaming agreement, each party is responsible only for its own obligations and risks. In a joint venture, the parties share the financial risk equally, and each party assumes joint and several liability for the debts and obligations of the venture.

Finally, the objectives of the two structures are different. A teaming agreement is typically entered into for a specific, limited purpose and for a defined period of time. A joint venture, on the other hand, is a long-term relationship that is meant to create a new business entity that is sustainable over time.


In summary, teaming agreements and joint ventures are two distinct legal structures that businesses can use to collaborate with others. A teaming agreement involves two or more parties working together on a specific project while retaining their own identities and independence, while a joint venture creates a new legal entity that is jointly owned and operated by the parties involved. Understanding the differences between these two structures is crucial to ensure that the parties involved are aware of the risks, obligations, and benefits associated with each.