Working with a business partner is like any other relationship. You are going to have your ups and downs, there will be things on which you do not see eye to eye and there will be issues where you completely agree. And, just like your other relationships, it is important to choose a business partner who is committed to achieving a shared vision for the company.
Regardless of how well you and your partner get along, there may come a time when you end up in a disagreement. The solution may hinge on the legal structure of the company, as well as any items included in the Articles of Incorporation or the bylaws. Read further for four strategies to help settle business partner disagreements.
Sit down at the negotiating table
Communication is one of the most important aspects of a business partnerships. Unless you and your partner are at a point where negotiating is not a possibility, try to come to an agreement without involving outside parties. This might mean that both of you will have to compromise to a certain extent, so be prepared to not get your way 100 percent when you try to reach accord.
Bring in a mediator
If you need an independent third party to mediate for you, then consider bringing in a business mediator to help settle the disagreement. Usually mediators have training in dispute-resolution solutions that they apply to help you find a middle ground that’s acceptable to you both.
Go to your partnership agreement
When two or more people go into business together, they often draft and sign partnership or management agreements. Also, many companies have bylaws in place to govern operations and address the proper course of action if business disputes arise. For example, there may be clauses stating that if partners cannot reach agreement, then one partner may have the right to buy out the other for a certain amount.
If you and your partner are at odds and have tried all other available options, the only course of action left may be to go before a San Diego judge. Your attorney can file a civil suit your behalf in order to force your partner to submit to a buyout or relinquish a controlling interest.
If you find yourself in the midst of a disagreement with a business partner and there is no other viable course of action other than going to court, a commercial litigation attorney can help you with the process. A disagreement between partners does not have to be the end of the business with the above options available.