It's never easy to deal with a business dispute, especially when the dispute is with your partner. It's nearly impossible to run a business when you aren't getting along with the other partner in the venture. Before you throw in the towel and agree to dissolve the partnership, take the time to try and come to an amicable resolution for the problem. In some cases, you may be able to resolve the issue without dissolving the partnership. Here are four steps you should take if you and your partner are at an impasse.
Put the Dispute in Writing
If you and your business partner are involved in a heated dispute, try to put the issues in writing. It's often easier, and more productive, to put everything down on paper. That way, you can see everything in black and white, without the heat of the moment getting in the way. Not only that, but it will give you both the opportunity to get everything out in the open so that nothing is held back. That way, when you sit down to discuss the issues, you can go through the list point by point.
Find Neutral Territory to Discuss the Dispute
If you and your business partner are trying to discuss the dispute during the workday, the conversation isn't going to be as productive as it could be. That's because you're both going to have other things on your minds—not to mention all the distractions that will be getting in the way. To make sure that you can both give the issues the attention they deserve, arrange to find neutral territory to discuss the dispute. A weekend lunch meeting will give you both the opportunity to sit down and discuss the issues without the stress and distractions of the office to cause interruptions.
Work with a Mediator to Resolve the Issue
If your meeting isn't successful in ironing out the details of the dispute, it may be time to sit down with a mediator. An objective third-party mediator can provide you with the structured guidance you'll need to work through the issues that are preventing you and your partner from finding a resolution to your dispute. However, for mediation to work, you have to both be willing to set aside your differences to work towards a common goal.
Get Help from a Business Attorney
If mediation fails to resolve the issues and you can't seem to find a way to overcome the issues that are affecting you and your business partner, you need to hire a business lawyer. This is particularly important if it looks like you'll be dissolving the partnership.
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