Partnership disputes have a way of creeping up on you. Many times we are contacted by hardworking and successful business owners who want to negotiate a buyout of his or her shares in the business. That is they have worked with their partner to create a successful business, disagreements arose and now it is time to just get out.
Only one problem…a lockout has already occurred.
That is, many times these “negotiations” occur after one partner locks the other out. This is always based on a pretext where one partner tells the other “look, I am going to buy you out and while we negotiate…”
- “…don’t come into the office, lets treat it as a vacation…”;
- “…don’t come in because you are terminated…”; or
- “…[insert excuse]…”
If this is your situation then you need to know that you have been locked-out and that your partner is violating your legal rights. Although you may be discussing buyouts and you “believe” that your partner intends to fairly compensate you, I can tell you that this is probably not the case. The lock-out is just the first or second phase in your partners plan and the longer you “negotiate” the weaker your rights become and, eventually, you will be offered “pennies on the dollar”.
How do I know this? Because we have seen it so many times and, well, human nature is extremely predictable. If you are faced with a dispute with your business partner order a free copy of my book “The New York and New Jersey Partnership Dispute Guide”, and learn about the phases of a partnership dispute and proven courses of action to protect your ownership interests.