Hopefully you read our previous blog discussing the first few factors to consider when drafting an Operating Agreement in order to prevent partnership disputes. This blog outlines a few other factors to consider:
- Values Agreement. It can be helpful for partners to draft and sign a document that declares their ethical commitments to each other. Negotiations for this type of agreement can open the door to discussions regarding your philosophies, the atmosphere you want to create for your business, and how your differing approaches can coexist.
- Compare Skills. If you and your partner are similar, it can result in redundant skills. It can be helpful to partner with an individual who balances you out and is strong where you are weak. At a minimum, you and your partner need to discuss the areas each of you will handle to ensure there isn’t too much overlap.
- Commit to the Partnership. It is imperative that partners focus on the fact that they have the same goals. Neither partner should be out to “win,” even when negotiating between them. Both partners should feel that they are being treated fairly and with respect. Although you don’t want to leave money on the table, you also don’t want to create unnecessary friction between you and your partner.
- Open Communication. Like any relationship, communication with your partner is essential to the success of your business. This may require the partners to schedule time outside the office to have important discussions. When facing a problem, try not to cast blame. Instead, jointly focus on finding a solution that is in the best interests of the business.
- Mediation. If the dispute between partners cannot be resolved, consider hiring a mediator to help find a solution. This is a proactive way to deal with the problem and can help prevent more drastic consequences. In fact, most Operating Agreements include a provision requiring partners to mediate their disagreements.
If you are interested in learning more about preventing disputes with your partner, contact the legal team at The Swenson Law Firm for assistance.