Stephen Kaplan, P.C.

An amicable business break-up benefits everyone involved

Just as you prepared when starting your business, you better prepare for a potential business break-up Nearly all business relationships end, perhaps due to visionary and decision-making differences, disparate working styles and an unequal partnership as one owner chooses to passively pull away. It is not just one abrupt incident that leads to a business break-up.

Concerns gradually mount bringing problems that interfere with the business and even affecting personal lives. You know that it is time to end this partnership. With that in mind, you also hope to make the break as amicable as possible.

Stay professional, but protect yourself

Here is some insight that can help business owners potentially achieve an amicable break-up:

  • Focus on professionalism: Do your best to avoid being overly emotional. Yes, the frustration and hurt are there. However, when those feelings subside, it is important to effectively and calmly communicate with your colleague. This approach minimizes any additional disputes.
  • Leave petty behavior on the school playground: There is a time to be supportive even when business partners go separate ways. This helps assure smoother transitions.
  • Make a prompt and quick business split: Any lingering bad feelings dissipate much more quickly when a break-up has a short shelf life.
  • Protect yourself: This includes reviewing the initial partnership agreement that addresses matters such as leases, loans and contracts. Also review the dissolution plan. Negotiation is crucial here.
  • Understand your business priorities, including buying out your partner: Is it realistic to pursue a buyout? You must understand all risks related to a business break-up.
  • Seek advice from other professionals: Attorneys and accountants have solid insight on business matters and can provide you with ideas that you may not have considered.

Business break-ups do not have to be messy. It takes extra work to avoid that route. And it pays off in the long run.

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