Successful partnerships require trust and respect, so choosing a friend for a business partner makes a lot of sense. Unfortunately, the things that make a friendship work socially don’t necessarily translate to compatibility within a professional setting. It may be a problem with the business model itself and it may be an issue of the two of you not working well together. Whatever the reason that’s driving you towards a partnership breakup, there are steps you can take to affect a partnership breakup without ending the friendship.
The best way to approach the possibility of a partnership breakout is at the very beginning when you are setting the business up. If you anticipate the possibility that things won’t work out or that one of you will want to move on to other things, you can build the terms of an exit strategy into your business agreement. This simple step avoids animosity by addressing company assets, intellectual property and other issues long before actual problems arise and makes things progress in a much more civilized, professional way. Much like a prenuptial agreement, creating a blueprint for the possibility of a partnership breakup means that you agree to terms while you are both optimistic and most interested in parity and taking care of one another.
As is true in every relationship, maintain an open and honest line of communication. If you are unhappy or sense that your partner is unhappy, you need to talk about what is happening early and often in order to avoid resentment building. Ignoring signs of discontent allows bitter feelings to arise.
Whether you are in the planning stages of your business and anticipating the possibility of a partnership breakup or find yourself considering breaking up a partnership that was established long ago, one of the smartest things you can do is to involve an unbiased third party. By relying on an experienced business attorney to help address the issues at hand you can keep arguments to a minimum and rely on the best legal practices and experience to work your way through the dissolution of the partnership and preservation of the friendship.
If you are in need of assistance with establishing or dissolving a business partnership, our experienced Philadelphia law firm can help you navigate the process in a way that will preserve your friendship. Contact us today to set up an appointment.