If you work in a company with a partner, sometimes differences will arise. It is the natural course of running a business. You may not see eye-to-eye, but eventually, you will arrive at a resolution, albeit perhaps not in unanimous agreement.
When differences occur between 50/50 business partners, which escalate rather than resolve, the issue becomes serious.
The conflict can split the company down the middle and cause long-term damage to the business. If you have a problematic partner that you need to get rid of, you need to use the right strategies.
Examples of Partner Conflicts in 50/50 Partnerships
There are different types of 50/50 partnerships. The nature of the business, the qualification of the partners, the level of activity – all these factors define different alliances.
However, the common factor may be two partners with equal share.
One partner may be the technical brains of the company, while the other might be responsible for funding the entire operation. Initially, it would seem an ideal arrangement because of the mutual help each partner gives.
Over the years, the company thrives, and money ceases to be an issue. The sleeping partner who provided all the funding initially does not need to do so anymore.
The company runs itself, but the active partner does everything, while the sleeping partner does next to nothing.
In such a case, the active partner may resent doing everything, and conflicts begin to emerge, and a split becomes imminent.
In this case, a partner may begin to fiddle the books and start diverting company funds elsewhere. Once the straight partner becomes aware, it becomes impossible for each partner to see eye to eye, ushering in the end of the partnership.
Blame Game Issues
Even if both the partners are active but play different roles in the company, conflicts can occur. One might be highly critical of the other who goes on the defensive. They start blaming each other when things go wrong.
When Partners Bring in Family Members
Another common issue is when partners induct family members into the business. Take the case of two partners who formed a highly successful company for several years. In their younger years, the business thrived.
Then, after a couple of decades, the partners brought their children into the business. In a few years, the children began squabbling amongst themselves over roles, responsibilities, and money.
The issue escalated with the partners taking sides, and it severely impacted the company.
When a 50/50 Partner Needs to Leave
When all efforts to restore the relation fail, the time has come for one of the partners to leave. If you cannot agree on anything and it even starts to affect your personal life, the time has come to part ways.
These useful tips should provide some guidance to get rid of a 50\50 partner and hopefully lessen the blow in the process:
Study the Partnership Deed
Your partnership agreement may contain provisions for a lesser partner being compelled to leave under certain circumstances.
There could be some provision for their equity to be bought out at an agreed price under particular terms and conditions.
Bring in a Third-Party Mediator
To ensure impartiality in the process, you can invite an outsider to mediate. The individual could be a common friend, a solicitor, or a representative of a company that specializes in the dissolution of partnerships.
Consider Your Business Structure
You need to proceed according to the structure of your business. There are different processes for a limited company or a partnership. For a partnership, the partnership deed will suffice.
If it is a limited company, you need to proceed according to its articles and memorandum of association. If there are shareholders, you need to consider that factor as well.
Be Aware of Partnership Rights
However eager you may be to end the partnership and the difficult time you both are going through, be aware of the legal rights of your partner. Your partner has legal rights under the LLP agreement or the Partnership of LLP Act.
So, you need to ensure that everything is done legally, ensuring that it doesn’t backfire on you. The separation can then take place effectively and permanently.
A business partnership is like a marriage. It is based on mutual respect and mutual understanding. As in a marriage, there is a lot of compromise and sacrifices to be made on both sides.
Once love and respect go out of the window to be replaced by antagonism and resentment, it is time to go your separate ways.
It is difficult to get rid of a 50/50 partner. But if you follow these simple tips, it should help you give some direction to the process of ending the partnership.