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Steps that can avoid partnership disputes

A Missouri partnership can be an ideal way to strengthen business connections and expand quickly. However, if one or more partners misuse funds, fail in their fiduciary duties or breach a contract, it could negatively impact the organization.

According to the Missouri Secretary of State, general business partnerships may become limited liability partnerships, protecting against liabilities between you and your partners. Taking steps before problems begin can offer additional protection and minimize the impact on the business if disputes arise.

Formalize the partnership

You and your partners can sign an operating or partnership agreement. These agreements define each partner’s obligations, duties, and level of control. Additionally, it details the business procedures for decision-making and what steps to take when there is conflict. You can also address the process for removing partners, acceptable methods for resolving conflict and steps for withdrawing from the partnership.

Discuss the dispute

Set aside time for discussing business issues as they occur. Ignoring problems or hoping they work themselves out allows a minor issue to fester and grow, becoming the subject of litigation. Take discussions off-site and schedule a time outside of regular business hours, such as in the evening or during the weekend. Choose a location where you can relax and take your time as you work through the points of contention. This can make problem-solving easier.

Business issues often become the cause for litigation if not addressed. Sometimes walking away from the partnership is the best solution for the partners as well as the business. Resolving disputes out of court through negotiation can save time and money for all parties involved.