It is important to be selective when choosing a business partner. You want a partner who is diligent, reliable and honest with a good business sense.
However, even if your business partner is your closest friend, family member or spouse, you could run into challenges as you operate and grow your small business. If you face a partnership dispute, you do not want to put your business (or your interest in it) at risk.
DETERMINE: WHAT IS THE REASON FOR THE DISPUTE?
It is axiomatic that the key to finding an effective solution is to discover the core reason for the dispute.
It is important to consider that if you have a personal relationship with your business partner in addition to your professional relationship, the reason may not even be business-related. For example, if you run a business with your spouse, it is not uncommon for marital issues to influence disputes over business operations.
Personal matters can have a surprisingly large effect on the success of business partnerships. In fact, a majority of the common reasons partnerships fail stem from personal matters. After all, personal matters can affect the trust in your relationship, and it is critical to trust your partner.
However, it is possible that the reason behind the dispute has both professional and personal connotations to it as well. It is common for business partners to have conflicts if:
- They have different values
- They have different visions of the business’s future
- Their personalities clash too much
RESOLVE: TAILOR TO THE IDENTIFIED REASON
Once you discover the true reason behind the dispute you face, you can move forward with a resolution strategy that targets this issue and troubleshoots future issues. You may wish to keep this an internal matter. Even so, it is often still important to obtain dispute resolution services or consult a California business attorney to protect your business interests while you navigate the dispute.
While litigation is the last thing business owners often want to add to their plate, it might be necessary in some cases, and the sooner you seek assistance the better the chances for a positive result. Otherwise, you may need to resort to litigation if this particular issue:
- Cannot be resolved internally
- Involves financial damages to your business, such as fraud, embezzlement or other self-dealing
- Involves a breach of the partnership agreement
Due to the nuances of personal and professional relationships, partnership disputes can be difficult to manage, particularly if there in not a partnership agreement in place. Guidance from a business attorney may be helpful in clarifying differences and finding solutions from business, personal and legal perspectives.