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Why partnership disputes happen and what to do about them

| Mar 23, 2021 | Entrepreneurial Law |

While countless individuals appreciate the freedom that comes with running a business on their terms, many others like the idea of having someone off whom to bounce their ideas and trust to share the workload.

Those who fit in the latter category often decide to set up partnerships. While many business organizations like these run smoothly, others find themselves riddled with conflict. There are some common reasons why at least 70% of all partnerships don’t make it.

Inequitable balance of work

Many partnerships fail because one partner grows resentful of the other. Often, it’s because one partner invests significantly more time or money into the business than the other.

It’s not uncommon for individuals who are new to running their own businesses to find anticipating their workloads challenging. They might  then distribute the tasks inequitably between themselves as partners.

Creating a checklist of tasks and assigning a time obligation or monetary value can help owners better balance the workload.

There are some instances in which one partner may agree to make a larger monetary investment in exchange for the other taking on more work, if that is amenable to both partners. Documenting such an agreement is key to minimizing future conflict, however.

An inadequate meshing of personalities

Making a poor choice of partner is another reason that partnerships fail.  Many people rush into business with friends or family members, only to find that their connection doesn’t bode well for separating business from their other relationships. It’s not much easier if business partners are married couples, either, as discussing finances can be particularly challenging for them.

Attributes that successful business partnerships have

Business partners should bring their expertise to the table and have designated responsibilities to avoid stepping on one another’s toes. They should also encourage one another to share ideas necessary to grow their company’s reach.

An attorney in Newton can help you craft a partnership agreement that delineates each of your roles. Your attorney can also advocate for you should you find yourself at odds with your Massachusetts business partner.bus