When you go into business with a partner, the last thing you’re thinking about is a future dispute. However, even if you have a good relationship, you never know what will happen when you begin to work side by side in such a stressful environment.
Should you come face to face with a business partner dispute, it’s critical that you take steps to quickly find common ground. This is easier said than done, but here are some ideas to point you in the right direction:
- Talk it out: Don’t hide your true feelings or put your partner down. Talk about the details of your dispute, share your side of the story and hear them out. If you can keep the conversation civil, you may begin to make progress.
- Read your contract and/or operating agreement: There’s no guarantee, but you may find language in the partnership agreement that helps put the dispute to rest.
- Attend mediation: If you’re unable to work through the dispute on your own, consider the benefits of mediation. This allows both of you to share your feelings, thus leading to negotiation and hopefully, compromise on a resolution.
With so much on the line, you don’t want to let a business partner dispute linger. It’s best to take immediate action with good intentions. This is often enough to work everything out and get back to business.
Should your dispute linger, perhaps because your partner doesn’t want to make things right, it may be time to take legal action to protect your interest in the company. You don’t want to give up everything you’ve worked so hard to build.