When you enter into a business partnership, there is always the risk it will fail. Any relationship between people can get complicated, especially if there is money at stake.
While you can walk away from a friend you fall out with, you cannot walk away from a business partner as you are legally bound together by the partnership agreement you made.
If you cannot resolve your disagreements is to reread the partnership contract. A well-made one will include provisions for such situations. For instance, it may state that all disputes go to arbitration or the terms on which one party can escape the partnership.
Consider the bigger picture if you have problems with a partner
Once you understand your options, you need to think about what your ideal outcome would look like. While your first thought might be to win the argument and get your way, you need to consider what price you are willing to pay for that.
For example, you have provisions in the contract that allow you to buy the other person out in the case of an impasse:
- Can you afford to do that? You might not have the money available. Or you might not want to risk more of your money on a business that you have doubts about.
- How would it affect the business? Consider what the other person brings to the company. While no one is irreplaceable, not everyone is easy to replace.
- How would it affect your personal relationship? If you are friends, consider what is more important — the business or your friendship?
- How would it affect your relationship with others? If your partner leaves, some employees may go with them. A big falling out could also cause problems if you share a social circle.
There are many ways to settle partnership disputes. Understanding the options and their consequences will be essential to finding a resolution that works.