Can It Be Done‚ Can You Resolve a Dispute with Your Business Partner?
If you are faced with what you believe to be an inevitable dispute with your business partner‚ then the “big” question is can it be resolved at an early stage before the business is harmed and before significant sums are spent on attorney fees and a disrupted business. This “big” question will depend on a number of factors including:
- Your Status: Are You In the Drivers Seat or (right now) are You a Passenger? – When dealing with partnership disputes “control” matters and your negotiating position right now will determine the best avenue for success. If you are a controlling partner then you should consider a strategy and potential negotiation where you dont “over-play your hand” and you make a compelling offer for your partner to step down. If you are a non-controlling shareholder then now may not be the time to negotiate but‚ rather‚ to speak with your partnership lawyer about taking certain steps to enhance your future negotiating status.
- The Status of Your Dispute: How Far Along Are Things? That is‚ are you just now uncovering that things are far along (i.e.‚ a partner is misappropriating asssets‚ moving business and threatening to lock you out) or is your dispute at an initial stage where communications have broken.
- What Are Your Goals? This is a big question and one that requires an honest answer and assessment with your partnership dispute lawyer. Are you a controlling shareholder‚ had enough of your partner “dropping the ball” and you know that he or she will not be reasonable in any future negotiations? Consider that if your partner is not realistic then you need to plan accordingly.
People Are Predicatable
Right now‚ as you read this article‚ you have a good understanding of how your partner operates and how she may respond. Consider that many follow a “knee jerk” reaction of challenging everything and contacting lawyers that‚ more often than not‚ are just intent on litigating. My suggestion is to plan out a real strategy with your lawyer and consider giving your partner slightly more than he or she deserves. Then consider (before making that offer) what you believe your partners response will be and if it is not positive then the best course of action may be to avoid negotiations all together and come out strong – file a pre-emptive lawsuit. Chances are you will be saving money in the long run and accelerate the possibility of a rational settlement. More often than not‚ endless lawyer threats (without action) result in paper exchanges (threatening letters) that just prelong a dispute.
Whether you a minority‚ controlling or equal shareholder‚ learn more about options available to you by ordering a “complimentary” copy of Charles N. Internicola’s Book‚ “The New York and New Jersey Partnership Dispute Guide”. Also you may contact mr. Internicola‚ Esq. by email or by phone at 800. 976. 4904.