Help For When Business Relationships Go Bad
Imagine that you’re stuck in a loveless marriage, or worse, in an abusive relationship, and there is no way out.
One day I received a call from a business owner, who said, “I’m in a bad partnership, but I can’t get out! I have consulted five lawyers, and each one has told me that there was nothing that I could do. My CPA suggested that I call you, but I’m quite sure that there is nothing that you can do for me.” After listening to the client’s story for 15 minutes, we were able to offer three options that no one had ever discussed with the client before.
Resolving A Soured Business Relationship
Husbands and wives know that there is a way to get a divorce, but business owners often are not aware that there are ways to separate from “bad partners.”
No one needs to stay in a bad business partnership. Whether you are an owner in a corporation, a limited liability company or a partnership, there is always a way out, but most cases require the assistance of a business divorce specialist to help you navigate through the process.
You hope to resolve your dispute without going to court, but that is not always possible. Sometimes you need either the overt and credible threat of litigation or an actual complaint against your partner filed in court. We wish that we could resolve these disputes without litigation, but the sad truth is that it often takes litigation, or the credible threat of litigation, to get a recalcitrant partner to think and act reasonably.
These cases get resolved in basically five ways:
- You buy out your partner.
- Your partner buys you out.
- You split up the business, meaning that each of you takes a portion of the business in separation, usually with a financial adjustment, since the two portions are rarely equal in value.
- Both partners sell the business to a third party.
- The business is dissolved.
It takes a skilled business divorce attorney to help you figure out how best to accomplish this.
Finding The Best Solution For You
Regardless of whether your business is large or small, disentangling yourself from a bad business relationship is never easy. Going through the process can be as emotional as a marital divorce. Although there are statutes and legal cases that govern partnership disputes, such as New Jersey’s Oppressed Minority Shareholder Act, each case is unique, often requiring creative solutions and the use of outside experts such as business valuation experts, forensic accountants, computer forensic firms and private investigators.
At Dunn Lambert, LLC, our attorneys will take the time to understand the motivations of all the parties involved to identify the origins of the dispute. After doing so, we can draw upon our considerable experience handling business divorces of all complexities to recommend an approach that addresses your unique situation in the most equitable way possible. To discuss your concerns with one of our experienced attorneys, please contact our office in Paramus at 551-228-2690 to schedule a consultation.
What is the Business Divorce Institute?
Our Vision: to create a community of allied professionals to serve the needs of business partners and their advisors in:
- The decision to partner
- The selection of a partner
- Placing the partnership on a solid legal foundation, with good communication
- Growing the partnership with effective communication
- Where necessary, helping the partners to break up the partnership and separate from each other in a way that leaves the partners financially and emotionally intact
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Founders: Richard Lambert, Esq., Managing Partner of Dunn Lambert, L.L.C., a business attorney, and Jeri Quinn, CBC, President of Driving Improved Results, a communications expert with a practice focused on neuroscience.