Going into business with a partner may have seemed like a no-brainer to you. You and your partner may have collectively come up with the business idea and took the startup steps together to allow the company to go from an idea to reality. At no point did either of you think that going at it alone would be for the best.
Unfortunately, as time has gone on, you and your business partner find yourselves disagreeing more often than not. At first, the issues may have seemed small, and one or the other may have conceded without much fuss. However, the issues now revolve around major business operations or even your partner not pulling his or her weight.
What can you do?
Luckily, you can handle business disagreements in various ways. Though some difficulties may seem insurmountable, taking a direct approach may reveal that the solution was not hard to come by after all. Some disagreement resolution methods to consider include the following:
- Consult a management agreement: Hopefully, you and your business partner took measures to account for potential disagreements before opening your company doors. Your management agreement may detail how you should handle partnership conflict, such as giving one partner final say or requiring mediation.
- Negotiating: The disagreement may have arisen because you both disagree on certain operational matters. If multiple issues are on the table, you may have the ability to negotiate and compromise to come to a solution on which everyone can agree.
- Mediation: In some cases, working issues out, just the two of you, may only lead to further arguments. If so, having an unbiased mediator hear both sides and help keep negotiations moving forward could help.
- Litigation: Though you may not want your partnership to reach this point, filing a lawsuit and taking the matter to court may end up the best way to handle the dispute. Letting a judge decide the final outcome will certainly put the matter to rest.
Of course, if you do face litigation, you undoubtedly want the case to go in your favor. As a result, it is wise to fully understand what it means to take a partnership dispute to court and what legal options you have for working toward the outcomes you desire. Consulting with an experienced California business law attorney could help you understand your best courses of action.