Is it time to exit your partnership?

shutterstock_49758274_EDITED_640X480Having helped business partners and having gone through my own severance of a partnership, I can tell you first hand that it is one of the most challenging experiences a business owner can face. When two partners start a business, they usually share the same exciting view of growing the business and creating a better lifestyle. However, as the company grows, the excitement ends, interests and visions change and if the two partners do not continue to share the same goals, problems begin to arise. Second guessing, arguments over petty issues and a general breakdown of communication are tell tale signs the partnership is faltering. Once trust and respect begin to dissolve, the partnership is well on its way to failure.

What should you do when you realize you no longer want to be in a partnership? Take action and seek guidance from your lawyer, accountant and business broker. Understand the value of your business and the impact your partner has on the business. Refer to your partnership agreement and understand your rights and begin to plan an amicable exit strategy. Don’t wait until the relationship dissolves to the point communication breaks down. The moment partners are at odds, it becomes stressful, emotional and difficult to navigate and negotiate an exit strategy.

Negotiating a buyout with a partner can be very confrontational, emotional and is always best left up to your mediating team who understands your rights, the value of your business and your available options. As always, with matters like these it is always best to get legal advice on your options well in advance of any communication to the other.

The last point I’ll make is that regardless of what actions you take or what transpires from buyout conversations, stay calm, collected and always keep your business moving forward. The last thing either partner needs is the business to suffer while details get sorted out between the exiting and surviving partner.