How to Settle Partner Disputes in Houston Texas – Advice from an Attorney

150 150 tony

How to Settle Partner Disputes in Houston Texas – Advice from an Attorney

Just like in any other relationship, disputes are bound to occur between business partners. Disputes rarely arise during the starting phases of the business but once the honeymoon stage ends, the chances of them happening increase significantly. While you would expect disputes to happen, if they are not handled early enough they can end up affecting the performance of the business. Toppins Law Firm highlights the best ways of settling a partnership dispute.

Common causes for partner disputes

Before looking at ways of solving partnership disputes, here are some of the common reasons of conflicts among business partners.

1.    Duties delegation disputes

These are mainly disputes that arise in relation to the responsibilities the partners are supposed to perform and the persons in charge of making decisions regarding the business. In most partnerships, the consensus usually is that all the partners take part in making the significant decisions that affect the operation of the business. However, if one of the partners decides to make a crucial decision about the business without involving the other partners, that would be a cause for disputes.

2.    Money matters

Money is perhaps one of the reasons for disputes that cuts across all business partnerships. Disputes often occur when money is not allocated in the right way or when the partner in charge of handling the finances of the business opts to embezzle the funds. When there is lack of trust for the person managing the finances and their method of handling the finances of the business, then disputes tend to occur.

3.    Intellectual property

When a partnership establishes a partnership, documentation that states who owns the intellectual property rights have to exist. There needs to be a legal document that shows that they have licensed their intellectual property to the business. If the owner of the intellectual property feels like their property is being assumed to be company property, then that could be a source of disputes.

There are some ways that these and several other disputes could be settled.

Negotiations

One of the pillars of a strong partnership is communications. Providing enough room for communication gives you the opportunity to present your grievances and, also, since communication is two-way traffic, you get the chance to hear the perspective of the other partners. Before you take any drastic measure, make every effort to reach out to the other partner or partners directly and talk about the issue at hand. Negotiate and try to find a way to solve the impending argument. If the interests of the business are in mind, then it can be easy to find common ground.

Mediation

In case you don’t find common ground during the negotiations, you can involve a third and neutral party to help reconcile the partners. The mediator should be impartial and one who is trained to handle and maintain solve partner disputes. A neutral party will help you avoid being biased in how you approach the cause of the argument. Their honest opinion and techniques they employ can go a long way ensuring that the differences are reconciled.

Management Agreements

Another way of handling partner disputes is planning for them before they occur. It can be done by enforcing a management agreement once the business is established. There are the rules and procedures that are to be followed if a dispute occurs. It is essential that the management agreement is crafted out carefully to avoid business disputes getting ugly and out of hand.

Court action

If all the avenues mentioned above for settlement have been exhausted and no solution has been found, then the dispute can be presented before a judge to make a ruling on the same. The court’s decision will be the final decision to be adhered to by all the affected parties in the dispute. However, you should always aim to avoid involving the courts in a partnership dispute as the court’s decision may end up permanently damaging the relationship between the parties involved in the dispute. 

It is essential to always look at the bigger picture especially if you are the one who feels offended. Always take a step back first and consider the consequences of the actions you want to make to your relationship with the other partners and the operations of the business. Before taking any action, carefully analyze all the options available to you and select the best course of action that would result in peaceful settlement of the dispute.

Also, always purpose to tackle the dispute head-on immediately they arise. One of the main reasons why partner disputes usually become messy is because they are left unattended. Once you establish a ground for dispute, call all the affected partners to a neutral location and present your grievances early enough. The faster you attend to the argument the better for you and the business in general.