No matter how professional you are, any relationship between people will have some human elements. This can easily create unpredictable situations in which you don’t always know what will happen with your company or where a business partnership in Massachusetts will lead you. Things might not have worked out the way you hoped, but while there isn’t necessarily a simple solution to every partnership problem, there’s usually a way to move forward productively.
Mediate the issue
One business litigation option is mediation. Having a neutral third party in the mix is often extremely beneficial. It’s the mediator’s job to set the stage, so to speak, allowing a productive conversation to happen. You can potentially mend the relationship by seeing past differences, working out disagreements and overcoming communication breakdowns.
The mediator may help the partners identify negative communication cycles and solidify unclear goals or undefined responsibilities. Remember that it will likely take mutual participation in creating the resolution for everyone to agree.
Sell out or buy out
Even with a viable business, it’s still possible that both partners will want out. When that’s the case, you might want to try looking for someone to buy all interests from both business partners.
People who already work for the company are good potential buyers – or the employees of your company’s competition. Another place to find buyers is via a business broker. No matter who you choose, ensure your business valuation is accurate and up to date before getting started.
Or there’s always the buyout option when partners don’t want to be in business together anymore. This can work for one or multiple partners. Those staying in the partnership can buy out the interests of the one leaving the relationship.
When you have a buy-sell agreement, it tells you the procedure to follow for this scenario. It’s something you’ll have executed at the onset of the partnership.
But if you don’t have one of these agreements, you must start by completing a company valuation. This is essential for everyone involved to know the value of their interests. After that, you’ll all have to negotiate the buyout terms and determine who is bought out if you haven’t already.