Difficulty Dealing With Your Business Partner

Dear M & M: I am having difficulties dealing with my business partner any suggestions” –Joel

Dear Joel:

If you do not have a partnership agreement in place now might be the time to draft one and have all partners understand, agree and sign. Communication is probably one of the most common areas where problems surface. Does everyone understand their roles? Regular scheduled meeting should be conducted at a minimum weekly to start out and then once all is running smoothly one could possible switch to monthly depending on the nature of your business and activities being conducted.

Some areas one should include in a partnership agreement include; what methods are used to resolve disputes, what is each partner’s share and financial investment, what is each partner’s job title and responsibility, how many hours will everyone work and what will they be doing, what happens when someone wants out, what happens if more partners are added, what expenses must be approved by all partners, what are the rules for opening competing businesses by existing partners, and how often will meetings be held?

Communication according to almost any source is about the thought of understanding and sharing meaning. If we didn’t communicate how would anything be accomplished? We need to know what each other is thinking. We cannot assume a business partner is thinking the same way we are. Once we understand each other’s position or approach we can more effectively deal with differences in opinion to arrive at a compromise where both parties win.  

We are not attorneys and always strongly recommended to contact one attorney for assistance. This is one of those areas you want to get right to make sure your partnership agreement is in compliance with Arizona statutes and all possible areas are covered in a standard partnership agreement. You will have some additional areas that are relevant to your situation and you want to make sure they get included correctly.

-M&M

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