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When a commercial partnership crumbles

An ideal business partnership brings unique strengths to the table and allows your company to take advantage.

The partnership should enhance and benefit your company. If you’re in a partnership that is beginning to feel like more work than reward, it’s time to re-evaluate. Here’s what to do if you feel your partnership is becoming a liability:

Recognizing problem partners

The most important thing a business owner must do is recognize when a partnership is no longer mutually beneficial. There are plenty of reasons an agreement can turn sour and it’s important to watch for these possible signs:

  • Your partner begins to show less interest in the success of the business
  • They openly dispute what’s best for the company
  • You find yourself covering for a partner or handling their share of the work
  • Things get easier when a partner is less involved

Any of these can signal it’s time to examine exactly why you’re in a partnership. Businesses must adapt and evolve continuously, and a partnership should do the same.

Seeking a second opinion

Before acting, speak privately with a business attorney to review your options. They can help pinpoint the best exit strategy and all available options for your business.

If you know that the partnership is longer be advantageous, make a plan. Look at the options available to you and decide which is the most feasible. Make sure to take into account the impact ending the partnership will have on your business and any other involved parties.

Taking action

Decide if you can solve the issue with your partner. If there is a chance you can address all problems and move forward with the partnership, decide the best way to bring up your issues.

Many partnership agreements come with a termination clause or a buyout option. If this is the case, determine if you can absorb the financial impact of buying a partner out of your business.

If you cannot move past your issues, dissolving the partnership may be the only course of action.

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