What Keeps Business Partners Up at Night?

Nina L. Kaufman, Esq.

Nina L. Kaufman, Esq.

Nina L. Kaufman, Esq., owner of Ask The Business Lawyer, is an award-winning business attorney, speaker, and Entrepreneur Magazine online contributor. She saves consulting and professional services companies time, money, and aggravation by serving as their outsourced legal counsel.

Posted on November 21, 2013 in Business Partners, Disputes

Got a call from a non-business-lawyer colleague about a potential referral.  It went something like this:

“Do you handle business formation issues?” he asked.

“Sure,” I replied, “Corporations, LLCs–what’s the issue?”

“Do you do more than just the buy-sell stuff?” he asked, this time more hesitantly.

“What do you mean?” I asked, starting to woder what was going on.

“You know, more than just by-laws and organizational documents.”

At this point, I couldn’t imagine what he could be digging around for.  So I asked, “What’s your concern, here?”

Finally, I got my answer:  dispute resolution.  Do I work in dispute resolution provisions in to the ownership agreement I work on?

Well, of course I do.  Can you imagine a business that has ever has its owners agree on everything?  Dispute resolution is a key piece of how a business runs (or doesn’t).  How will you handle situations where you and your partner(s) can’t agree on a course of action for the company–such as starting a new division, or how best to build your workforce? More to the point, if there are an even number of you with equal holdings in the company, how will you cast the tie-breaker? And what happens if you are repeatedly stalemated?

So that’s what kept this colleague’s referral source up at night.  What aspect of business partnerships makes you lose sleep?

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