Business partnerships often start off positively but can, like marriages, decline over time. Especially when prospective partners don’t take the time to get to know one another before starting a business or when they don’t carefully define their obligations, significant conflicts can arise.
Sometimes, these issues become so pressing that the partners have to end their business relationship or possibly the business. Other times, they may initiate civil lawsuits against one another. Learning about two of the biggest causes of partnership disputes can help you find a way to resolve them while still protecting your business and your interest in it.
Just like with marriages, money is a big problem for many business partners. They may disagree about the best way to allocate the resources their company acquires or how to overcome a temporary setback that leaves them in the red.
Partners might even disagree about when to revisit the amount of compensation they each receive. Sometimes, misappropriation of company funds or embezzlement will lead to conflict.
If you find yourself in a financial dispute with your business partner, reviewing your partnership agreements and any figures provided by your partner to support their position could help you find a starting point for a financial compromise.
Partners sometimes fail to discuss what they will do as they scale up or expand their business. They might also neglect discussions of how to move into new areas of industry as the economy continues to evolve.
Perhaps one of you wants to leave behind your brick-and-mortar facility in favor of going completely digital. Maybe one person wants to consider a merger offer with a competitor. If you don’t already have an agreement in place dictating when you would make certain operational changes or how to compromise on these issues, you may both have assumed that you would just agree on these issues.
Scorched-earth tactics and ad hominem attacks against your business partner may only increase the tension between you and reduce the likelihood of resolving these issues amicably while preserving your relationship. You may want to consider collaborative settlement negotiations with your own attorneys or even a mediation session so that you can resolve disagreements about managing your shared business.