When you go into business with a partner, it’s inevitable that you’ll have minor disagreements over certain details. Partnership disputes over hiring and firing decisions, expenditures, investments, expansion, and other areas are inevitable. However, when a partnership conflict develops and becomes so pervasive that it affects operations, you can’t sit back and hope things will eventually smooth over. It’s critical to be proactive in resolving partnership disputes, so your first step should be discussing your situation with a Clearwater, FL business litigation lawyer. An attorney is a valuable asset in helping you resolve partnership conflicts before they threaten your organization.
Specifically, an attorney can assist with:
1. Identifying Key Legal Issues and Relevant Laws: At the core of most disputes are legal issues that you may not recognize or understand. For instance, the rights and responsibilities of partners are defined in Florida’s Uniform Partnership Act. This statute covers many of the areas where conflicts tend to arise, such as:
- Authority and liability of partners;
- General rules regarding conduct;
- Transfer of ownership interests; and,
- Many more.
Unless you have a firm grasp of the statute, you don’t have the tools necessary to resolve partnership conflicts on your own.
2. Focus on Solutions: Business litigation attorneys also have negotiations skills to help you concentrate on solutions, rather than dwell on the problems that form your dispute. Too many partners aim to win the dispute or best their partner over a disagreement. This is counterproductive and detracts from the idea that you both should be contributing to the partnership, not beating each other up. When a dilemma exists in your personal life, you look for ways to solve the problem. Your approach should be the same with respect to your partnership, and a lawyer can help steer productive conversation.
3. Consider Mediation: If a business litigation lawyer cannot help you resolve all partnership disputes, you may turn to mediation for assistance. At this type of proceeding, you and your partner will sit down with a third-party mediator to discuss your situation. As a neutral, trained professional, the mediator will listen, ask questions, and try to guide you towards compromise. If you and your partner agree on tactics to resolve your disagreement, you can put things in writing and move forward. However, mediation is non-binding, so you can pursue other options if it doesn’t work.
Each partner is allowed to have an attorney represent you during mediation, but you need to be cautious about the scope of representation. Both partners must make sure to draw the line with respect to personal interests and interests of the partnership.
Consult with a Clearwater Business Litigation Attorney About Partnership Conflicts
It’s unfortunate when partnership disputes disrupt your company, but your chances of resolving them increase when you retain a skilled Florida business law attorney. A lawyer can provide essential legal advice and counsel so you can move on and get back on track. For more information on our legal services for business owners in Clearwater, FL and Pinellas County, please contact Clearwater Business Law. We can set up a consultation to review your circumstances and recommend legal strategies for overcoming partnership conflicts, call (727) 785-5100.