If running a successful business were easy, most people would do it. Who wouldn't want to be his or her own boss and pursue a passion as a career? You started your company knowing that the road would be difficult, and you may have brought on a business partner in hopes of lightening your own load. Of course, partnerships do not always go smoothly.
You may have chosen your partner for various reasons. Maybe he or she has business experience or a particular skill set you need. Your partner could also have a drive for success that you believed could benefit your company. Whatever the reasons for choosing your partner, you did so because you believed he or she would help your company grow.
Unfortunately, whether you and your partner are good friends or simply made a business arrangement to work together, issues can arise. Some problems you could face from the start or could show themselves after a catalyzing event. In any case, you may want to consider these potential problems that could arise and how to plan for them:
- Operational disagreements: You and your partner may have started out making all of the business decisions on equal footing. However, your partner may end up falling behind on responsibilities or may even overstep his or her bounds by making important decisions without you.
- Money issues: Financial details can cause strife in any type of relationship, and business partners could argue about spending money, how much each partner should receive, who has the authority to make business-related purchases and more.
- Intellectual property disputes: Many businesses thrive by having original and innovative ideas. If one of you comes up with a unique idea and wants to maintain ownership of the idea, but the other believes it should become company property, problems could arise.
Hopefully, you and your business partner will come to terms and create legally binding agreements at the beginning of your business venture in efforts to avoid some of the more common disagreements. However, if your partner violates the terms of those agreements or carries out other actions that you find damaging to the company, you may have some difficult decisions to make.
If you do face a partnership dispute and feel uncertain about how to resolve it, you may want to explore your legal rights and options. Even if you do not intend to sue your partner immediately, discussing your concerns with a California business law attorney could allow you to obtain reliable insight into your available options.