When you go into business with someone, you do it because you trust them. You do it because you think you’re going to be able to build a business together; make your lives better; fuel one another on to allow for business success. You have someone to share the stress and the workload– and it can be hugely beneficial.
There may be a point, however, where you find yourself forced to contemplate dissolving a business partnership. You want to keep the business going, but how can it possibly cope with this? It’s a messy situation that can feel impossible to claw your way out of, but it is possible– it just takes a lot of effort.
There are three main areas of your business that are going to be impacted by the dissolution. If you ensure you pay attention in these areas, then you can be sure your business can survive this bump in the road.
Who Gets What
Establishing this is absolutely essential, and should be at the top of your to-do list.
- If your partner wants no further part in the business, then you should arrange to buy them out. Your original partnership documentation should have details on this eventuality.
- If your partner wants to retain a stake in the business but not be involved day-to-day, then you need to negotiate a new partnership document.
- If you both want to continue the existing business, then consider splitting and rebranding as individual companies. This is an incredibly complicated process, however; it’s often easier for one of you to buy the other out and someone start afresh, rather than trying to slice a business apart.
Set a deadline for when a decision of “who gets what” must be made. If you’ve come to the final decision to end the partnership, then you have to be prompt about it. Your business is at stake, so don’t argue unnecessarily.
Location, Location, Location
The question of who gets to keep the office is one of the fundamentals you will have to discuss during this process. There’s little point coming to loggerheads over it; if necessary, be the bigger person and agree that you will move away.
Why should you cede ground? Because it’s easier. If you’re going to be the one to move, then you can focus your time on managing that. You can look for a new property, start to transfer essential services, contact the likes of BCI Worldwide to guarantee that your new premises are ready to move into– all good uses of your time. What isn’t a good use of your time is having the entire process delayed because you and your soon-to-be-ex partner are arguing over who gets to keep the office. Just leave; after the initial disruption and expense, you’ll be better off.
You may also be forced into this decision because, as a sole owner, you won’t be able to afford to maintain your existing office space. The sooner you get to the task of moving, the better.
The Business Operations Itself
When you’re tied into dealing with all of the above, it’s all too easy to take your eye off the ball when it comes to your business operations. You both have a financial stake in the business, so it’s within your interests to ensure the process is as simple as possible to ensure your business isn’t impacted by the split. Don’t let dissolution talk dominate your workdays; look to get everything wrapped up quickly, so you can focus where it counts.
Dissolving a partnership is tough, but if you can no longer work with your partner, it’s better to make the break and begin a new business for yourself.