As the largest state in the US, California is also the home to the largest number of businesses. And, just as in life, businesses can often cause disputes and disagreements.
This is especially true in the case of businesses owned and operated by multiple partners. Even partnerships that have functioned smoothly for years or even decades can hit a rocky patch. Being able to resolve business disputes is crucial for your financial well-being, not to mention your happiness and professional fulfillment.
Saving a business partnership
In some cases, disputes within a business are serious but not past the point of no return. Communication issues may have built up over time, or partners’ interests may have slipped out of alignment.
Mediation is often your best option if you believe your partnership can be saved. Working with a neutral third-party mediator, you and your partner or partners can redefine your operational plans and communication styles to find common ground. Mediation is often significantly less expensive than more drastic options of resolving business disputes and can salvage a dysfunctional partnership.
Dissolving a business partnership
In some cases, however, reviving a once-functional partnership may not be possible. If you’ve determined that you need to end a partnership over business disputes, there are several ways to do so.
In many cases, the simplest option may be to sell the business to a third party or have one partner buy the other out. A straightforward financial transaction can leave all parties wealthier and more satisfied with their future prospects.
Sometimes, though, the business itself may no longer be viable, not just the partnership. In that case, you may want to explore options like a legal dissolution or bankruptcy. In these situations, your business assets will be liquidated and distributed to creditors. At that point, you and your former partners will no longer be legally connected.
Business disputes are an inevitable part of business, and resolving them as painlessly as possible is a critical skill. Some solutions offer the possibility of the partnership continuing, while others lead to a parting of ways.