No matter how compatible you are or how long you have been working together, disagreements can create tension between you and your business partner. These disagreements can stem from any source, either within or outside of the business. Some common differences between partners originate from the following:
- Disappointment over profits
- Pressure from too much debt
- Disputes over the direction of the business
- Family issues
While some of these may be temporary setbacks, there are problems from which it may be difficult for your partnership to recover, such as stealing or other illegal activity.
Weighing the difficult choices
Sometimes a dispute between partners escalates and cannot be repaired. Other times, partners simply outgrow one another and want to move on to new ventures. If you and your colleague did not formulate a partnership agreement that included an exit plan, you are probably facing some difficult decisions.
If the best course of action is to end the joint venture, you may decide to buy out your partner’s interest in the company or sell your partner your share. If neither is willing or able to take on the business alone, the next option is to sell to a third party. You may also decide to dissolve the business altogether. Whatever decision you and your partner make, legal counsel may be invaluable.
Saying goodbye and moving forward
Much like a divorce, the end of a partnership may bring tension and uncertainty. This does not even account for the legal issues involved with dissolving a joint venture. If you are feeling that your partnership has run its course, you certainly want to consider all of your options. Maybe you already have an idea of the direction you would like to go but are unsure of the legal ramifications.
If there is a chance that you and your partner can negotiate an amicable way to dissolve the partnership, having an attorney to advocate for you will ensure your rights are protected. In the event that negotiations are not possible, you will want an attorney with strong litigation skills. Just because your business may be taking a turn you had not expected or planned for does not mean you have to tackle the change without dependable assistance.