Is it halachically permissible for a man to co-found a company with a woman? Currently, the company is a startup that is expanding. Also is it permissible to work for that startup if it is only 1-2 people and would involve close interactions discussing business strategy and analysis etc? Most work would be done by computer but there would be business meetings etc.
However, one must ensure not to violate the rules governing the interaction between men and women. This includes ensuring there is no Yichud, physical contact, flirtatious talk or behavior, excessive unnecessary conversation, and general lightheadedness.
Specific additional boundaries should be put in place to ensure that any such behaviors don’t happen. For example, not calling each other by the first name, etc.
It is advisable to receive advice from a seasoned and experienced Mashpia in these matters.
Recommended reading material:
- Nine to Five: A Guide to Modest Conduct for Today’s Workplace.
- See also the attached Kovetz (Hebrew) Chapter 4.
- Halacha2go.com #115.