Q: What is the rationale for sharing profits equally, despite unequal shares of invested capital?
A: Some apply this ruling only to business ventures that require the entire joint capital invested, such as buying a house or a single ox, so that each partner is dependent on the other’s investment. However, if quantities of merchandise were acquired, and each party could have done business individually on a lesser scale, the profits are shared proportional to the investment (Sma 176:15).
Others explain that since the major partner did not stipulate receiving a proportional share of the profits, this indicates his willingness to share the profits equally. Perhaps he recognized the other partner as a savvy, worthwhile partner despite his lesser capital. Or, conversely, the minor partner was willing to risk an equal share in the losses, in order to gain an equal share in the profits (Levush 176:5).
Others explain that the two partners are required to work equally, so that the profits — which are a result of their efforts — should be shared equally (Nesivos 176:8).