How Can I Handle a Partnership Dispute?

How long a partnership lasts depends on the personal relationships between the partners. If the partners in a partnership get along well, the partnership functions smoothly. Friction between the partners will affect partnership performance. Professional differences can lead to personal disputes and a disruption of the partnership.


Avoiding Partnership Disputes 


To minimize the possibility of disputes, work with a business attorney in Santa Rosa to create a partnership agreement. Ensure your agreement lays out-every partner’s role, duties, and rights and how you will determine compensation. This can help you avoid many common causes of partnership disputes.


Many people use online boilerplate partnership agreements when entering into partnerships. Remember that an online boilerplate agreement will only provide a template which must be further altered and customized to your specific partnership. It will not cover your unique situation.


When writing a partnership agreement, a business attorney will help you consider situations that are highly unlikely but may still arise. A partnership agreement must lay down a clear guideline for dissolving the partnership, should that ever be necessary.


When your partner disagrees with you on an important issue, avoid jumping to conclusions. Do not let your emotions get the better of you. Relax, take deep breaths, and consider their position. Many partnership conflicts can be avoided if the partners make an effort to understand and respect each other’s viewpoints on different issues before having a rational conversation.


How Can I Resolve A Partnership Conflict?


If you find yourself in a conflict with your business partner, revisit your agreement. Check to see if the partnership agreement outlines any dispute resolution procedures or includes any terms that deal with the problem at hand.

If you do not have a formal, written agreement, check your correspondences (such as emails, texts, and notes) to find any information on how you and your partner intended to handle the dispute.


Have an active listening session. Each person must listen to what the other partners have to say without reacting or interrupting them for a set time. Active listening is an effective tool to nip conflicts in the bud.


If you can’t resolve the dispute through talks, write a formal letter to your partner. Highlight the issue, explain your position and suggest a potential solution. Set a deadline for a response and explain the next step if you cannot reach an agreement with your partner.

If you are still unable to resolve the dispute, seek help from a trusted advisor. Consider hiring a mediator trained to help parties resolve conflicts and disputes.


If nothing is working and you and your partners feel that the partnership should be dissolved, hire a business attorney to draft an agreement.


The Law Office of Stephen M. Beckwith is committed to helping partners resolve disputes amicably. Stephen M. Beckwith is one of the most trusted business attorneys in Santa Rosa. He has his clients’ best interests at his heart. To make an appointment with him, call (707) 526-5454.