Business partnerships have a lot in common with marriages: they both start out with the best of intentions, and both can end despite those good intentions. Another similarity is that your financial and emotional well-being can depend on how well the business partnership break-up is managed.
No matter what the cause of your business partnership break-up, there are steps you can take to protect your interests, starting with acknowledging the possibility of a break-up at the time that you first establish the partnership.
Just as a prenuptial agreement can prevent some of the worst aspects of a divorce, the same is true of having a dissolution strategy, which is just as necessary to address issues that would arise after a death or catastrophic injury as for arguments or animosity.
If you have not taken this precautionary step, it does not mean that you can’t work through a business partnership break-up with a minimum of stress. Here are a few tips that have proven successful:
- Keep yourself above the fray. It is easy to get pulled into arguments and vindictive behavior when faced with a partnership break-up. The dissolution of the relationship often goes beyond the people involved, threatening the business’ future success and each individual’s financial security. It is important that you recognize the fear, anger, disappointment and sense of rejection that you may be feeling and not attempt to negotiate any break-up terms when those feelings are present. The only time you should be communicating or making decisions is when you’re feeling calm and can act reasonably and rationally. If you are unable to do so, have another person act as your proxy.
- Figure out what your priorities really are. Just as in a divorce, it is easy to get so caught up in what you perceive as winning that you lose sight of what you actually want. Take a careful look at what your short- and long-term goals are so that you can make sure that the decisions you make with regard to the partnership further those outcomes.
Perhaps the most important thing for you to keep in mind is that there is no need to go through a partnership break-up on your own. The guidance that an attorney can provide as you negotiate a business partnership break-up can be invaluable and can help secure your interests as you move forward. Contact Bochetto and Lentz for assistance today.