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When business partnerships break up

If you and your Georgia business partners do not see eye to eye anymore and you seem to spend more time arguing than selling your product, you may be headed for a partnership break-up. If you are, you likely will find the process similar to the break-up of a marriage. In fact, it may surprise you to learn that business partnerships stand a 20-30 percent higher likelihood of breaking up than do marriages.

Business partnerships end for many of the same reasons that marriages end. The people involved “grow apart” over time. Where you and your partners originally had high hopes for your business and reasonably compatible ideas on how to achieve your goals and objectives, you may now find yourself at loggerheads.

Partnership agreement

Hopefully, you and your business partners let your respective attorneys negotiate and draft a written partnership agreement which all of you signed when you first went into business together. If so, that agreement should make your break-up easier because it spells out the following:

  • The business ownership percentage that each of you has
  • The profit and loss percentage that each of you has
  • The responsibilities each of you has with regard to the partnership’s management
  • The buy-out provisions should one or more of you die or choose to withdraw from the partnership

Partnership agreement advantages

Once irreconcilable differences arise among you and your partners and a business break-up becomes inevitable, your partnership agreement should stand you in good stead. Because it set up the way in which your partnership would end, and all of you agreed to this methodology and procedure, none of you now has to make important business break-up decisions while under so much stress. Regardless of how much distrust and/or animosity any of you may now feel toward any of the others, your partnership agreement should make your business break-up as easy and smooth as possible.

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