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What to do when you’re fighting with a business partner

Most partners go into business together with the best of intentions. With so much excitement and hope for the future, partners may overlook issues that could compromise their business relationship in the future.

For example, sometimes the roles and expectations of all partners are not properly established at the outset. Months or years down the road, disagreements can take place when one partner thinks another partner is not contributing enough or in a way that that partner expected.

In other cases, what started as a perfect business partnership could end up souring over time.

Even if you have legal documents in place such as a shareholders agreement, partnership agreement or LLC agreement and the terms of the agreement seem clear to you, your partners may be reading the same document in a completely different way.

Before long, a full-on conflict can arise, threatening the future of the business. Before it gets to this point, it’s important to meet with an experienced small business lawyer who can help you work out your differences and get your business back on track.

If the partners no longer want to stay in business together, your lawyer can make sure that you understand your legal rights and can assist with a business dissolution or sale. If you and your partners cannot agree on what to do, litigation may be necessary.

Litigation means using the court system to work out your partner disputes. Before getting to that point, though, your lawyer should make sure to attempt to work out the dispute through alternative dispute resolution options like mediation, which are less expensive and time consuming.

Being in conflict with business partners can leave you feeling angry and anxious about the future. The best thing you can do to put your mind at ease is to meet with an experienced small business lawyer who can go over your rights and options under the law.

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