Breaking Up (With Your Business Partner) Is Hard To Do

Breaking Up (With Your Business Partner) Is Hard To Do

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Maybe you entered into a business partnership with your college roommate or shifty brother-in-law. Or perhaps it was a partnership with your spouse, but now your marriage has hit the skids.

Either way, it’s become crystal clear that it’s time to cut business ties with this person. So, what’s next?

Review your partnership agreement for guidance

Ideally, when you drew up the partnership agreement to commence to do business as a single entity, you had a savvy business lawyer insert a clause detailing a potential exit strategy. Few business partnerships continue in perpetuity. Most have an arc book-ended by a beginning and an end, even if the end is the demise of one of the partners.

If that’s the case, all you need to do is follow the steps outlined in the partnership agreement to make the parting of your ways as bloodless as possible.

Consider mending fences

Often, it’s not a single negative incident between the partners that sours one or both on the partnership. It’s typically a real or perceived erosion of the commitment to the company and its goals by one of the partners that the other resents. Other reasons for severing ties may be financial if one partner realizes less profits from the venture than they expected to reap.

But the door may remain open, at least a crack, to a recommitment by both parties to the company. In this scenario, much like when divorcing couples decide to get back together, mediation could be helpful to reach a new and fairer partnership agreement that addresses all concerns.

Bring on the lawyers

Your worst-case scenario may be that there is no exit strategy included in your partnership agreement and things have become so acrimonious between the two of you that no civil communication can ensue.

It is quite likely that the two of you may just wind up in civil court to best determine how to end your business ties. If so, you will want to make sure that you immediately bring your Colorado business law attorney up to speed with the crisis. They will be able to advise and guide you through any litigation that may arise from your partnership dispute.