Q: I provided 2/3 of the capital for our business partnership. How should we divide the profits or losses?
A: As with other aspects of partnership, the profits or losses should be divided according to the initial agreement or the local business custom. A clause in the partnership contract that business will be conducted according to the local civil law would likely be understood as applying also to the rules of dividing profits (see Maharshach in Hagahos Rav Akiva Eiger C.M. 3:1).
In the absence of these, the Gemara (Kesubos 93a-b) teaches that business profits and losses should generally be shared equally, despite unequal percentages of capital. [Be”H, we will address the rationale for this next week.]
However, if the profit results directly from an increase in value of the initial assets, such as partners who provided unequal amounts of foreign currency or commodities that increased in value, the profit is divided proportionally (C.M. 176:5; Pischei Choshen, Shutfim 3:14-18).