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What happens when a business partnership stops working?

Starting a business involves a lot of financial and “sweat” equity. Time, effort and money are all needed to get a new company up and operating. Lots of businesses look to divide that work among different partners, capitalizing on each person’s strengths.

This can be a great way to get a business off the ground, but what happens when the partnership becomes detrimental to business?

Identifying the problem

Some people live for the start-up lifestyle. They love seeing an idea become reality and all the hard work that comes with it. The work that comes after, the steady growth and planning, may not hold the same appeal.

When that happens, partners can become more of an issue than an asset. There can be signs that you may want to consider dissolving a business partnership. Things like:

  • Frequent arguments over the direction of your business.
  • Anger and blame directed towards you for underperformance.
  • Over-reactions to small problems or roadblocks.
  • Active sabotage of business relationships.

These may signal your partner is itching to be a former partner. It happens more often than entrepreneurs would like. Working styles, personalities and work philosophies can all cause differences that become issues over time.

When differences become big enough, it may be time to consider a business dissolution.

Pulling the band-aid off

The important thing is to address any issues between you and your partner as soon as you can. It’s imperative you address the issue right away. Letting a harmful partnership continue just hampers your business and fosters bad feelings.

Enlist legal representation to help you go over your options, including:

  • Evaluate responsibilities between yourself and your partner.
  • Explore a projected timeline of a dissolution.
  • Review all business contracts to determine exactly how the partnership is structured.
  • Examine the feasibility of continuing operations without your partnership.

While a dissolution can be a difficult process, keeping a toxic partnership is even worse. Inaction can harm your business’s reputation and performance.

Seeking reinforcements

When you cannot reach an agreement, it’s important to seek legal representation. A skilled business attorney can help you fight to keep your business growing and thriving.

Don’t let a soured partnership tear down something you worked hard to build.

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