Some degree of conflict between members of a partnership is to be expected. The very nature of a partnership means that two or more passionate and strong-minded individuals, with their own knowledge and opinions, need to work together which could easily result in a conflict.
Disagreements over finances, the day-to-day running of the business or even future direction are common in a partnership, and can lead to partner conflict. However, the trick is to address these issues before they escalate into a fully fledged partnership dispute.
Addressing partnership conflicts
There are some simple ways that partner conflicts can be avoided, mitigated or mediated, such as:
- Ensure your partnership agreement contains provisions for disputes and covers many of the possible triggers and sticking points
- Look for honesty, transparency and a willingness to compromise in any potential business partners
- If there are three or more partners, make sure any important decisions are put to a vote
- Hold any crisis talks in a neutral environment, with a third party referee or professional mediator
- Always focus on what’s best for the business, rather than personal feelings
How not to handle conflict
However you choose to address a partnership conflict, there are certain outcomes to avoid at all costs. If you have no agreement in place, one individual exiting the partnership will mean the venture has to be dissolved, while expelling a partner is impossible without dissolution. Dissolving a partnership can prove expensive and damaging, with all assets and debts divided, and partners forced to start afresh if they wish to continue trading.
Ralli’s team of expert partnership law solicitors can help you draw up an agreement that prepares for every eventuality. If partner conflict has already arisen, contact us for mediation or dissolution advice on 0161 832 6131.