ending business relationships

Reproduced from my weekly ezine, LexAppeal: As I mentioned last week, business partnerships are delicate creatures.Like Japanese maple trees, you need to plant them in the right soil, protect them from harmful pests, and tend them carefully.Any one of these factors could cause the tree to wither and die. As the proverbial gardener of your […]

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This isn’t just business divorce, it’s “real” divorce.  The business divorce is the icing on the cake and people fight over it the way they do over children, favorite pets, or heirlooms. There are two main ways a family business can be owned.  (1) One spouse owns the business.  In that case, the non-owner spouse […]

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Here, from the Department of Nightmarish Scenarios Thrown at Me Out of the Blue from People who Want Free Legal Advice: “Marvin” and “Peter” took out a credit line when they were in business together.  Both personally guaranteed the credit line.  A few years later, Marvin and Peter absolutely had to part company.  And finally, […]

The article “Protect Your Business and Your Family” raised a valid point — that partnerships are not eternal.  But the point is not an obvious one. Many business owners I know and advise refer to their “business partner” as the person with whom they own a business.  The business may take the legal form of a […]

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I found a thread of a plaintive (online) cry for help:  “My partner isn’t returning phone calls.  I want to get off the business papers as a responsible party.  I’ve not been active in the business for the last six months/year/two years.  What do I do?” Unfortunately, to really make sure all those loose ends […]

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From the Department of “Was that form of exit strategy written into our partnership agreement?” comes this story from the Chicago Tribune of an Illinois business partnership gone wrong.  Apparently, the home rehab business — started by two friends — was experiencing financial difficulties.  It seems that one partner wanted to take out more money to […]

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True confessions time:  the last few months have been very hard because, well, for all of my desire to be the Business Partnership Expert, my own business partner and I parted company as of December 31, 2007.  It was my decision.  There were things in the partnership that just weren’t working, and others that I […]

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In a question that seems more appropriate for The Ethicist (the New York Times Sunday Magazine’s Q&A column on ethical issues), David Eddie from the Globe and Mail presents the following scenario: [After 15 years of slaving in someone else’s business], about a year ago, I convinced a colleague to quit and team up with […]

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Post image for Basic Training: Z is for Zapping Yourself by Walking Away

OK, so there aren’t many usable “Z” words in this context.  🙂  Today’s Basic Training post revisits that old, old lesson that you can’t just escape or quit your business by walking away. Q.:   What are the ramifications if I walk away from my small business–just turn the keys over to the landlord and walk […]

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Let’s leave aside the fact that the title of the article alone made me laugh.  Have a look at Marian Banker‘s wonderful article, “Help! I Want to Dump My Partner!”  Marian, a business leadership coach and founder of Prime Strategies, clearly summarizes the awkwardness and agony of what it’s like to be a partnership or long-standing […]

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