Business Partnership Advisor
Together, we can fix your business and partnership problems
Chris Reich, Business Luminary
Get a Partnership Agreement NOW and Do Not Use a FREE Template
If you do not have a Partnership Agreement with Buy/Sell provisions, you are missing something that could protect you in the future. Don’t wait another day. Call me and get this done. Do NOT use FREE Partnership Agreements. They are too important to go generic.
You Didn’t Get a Partnership Agreement When You Started—So Do It Now
I get calls every day from people just like you. They are in a partnership that is starting to show signs of tension and there is no Partnership Agreement in place. Sometimes one was drafted and never signed. I never judge because I have had my own business for nearly all of my life and understand how hard it is to accept paying for something like that. Frankly, that’s the same reason many people in business don’t see a doctor when they should. Let’s start looking out for ourselves and get this done before something happens. A Partnership Agreement is like having insurance that you only pay for once. It’s a great deal.
How is having a Partnership Agreement like having insurance? Did you know that your partner could buy a company car for her own use without talking with you? There is a misconception that big decisions require the approval of all partners. Not true. Your partner can spend money, fire people, and even dump a key customer without talking to you. If your partner dies in an accident, you get a new partner and you have no say in the matter.
Don’t put this off. Get advice and get those documents done!
If you don’t have a Partnership Agreement in place, don’t wait another week.
Chris Reich, TeachU
What Needs to Be in the Partnership Agreement?
Your Partnership Agreement needs to have the answers to the problems that arise in a partnership. For example, what happens if your business partner dies? That unexpected event has caused nightmares for many people in partnerships. Their partner, with whom they had a great relationship, dies leaving his spouse with 1/2 of of the business. Though she has never worked a day in the business, she has ideas about how things need to be done. You are in for a rough time. There are ways to avoid this.
What would happen if you were hurt and disabled for a long time? Your partner isn’t obligated to pay you a salary. Because you can’t participate you could lose your stake in the business.
What if you find yourself in a dispute with your partner? The Partnership Agreement should specify how differences are AVOIDED and settled. Many disputes can be completely avoided. For example, your agreement could specify that all matters that involve more than $500 (or $5 million!) must be agreed by all partners.
What if a partner wants out of the business? Most templates say something like, “we get 3 appraisals of the business and average them. That determines the valuation.” If you have a small business, the valuation expense can be more than the business is worth. A good audit can cost $20,000. Why have such an open-ended process?
There are a lot of provisions that need to be discussed with your partner and then clearly spelled out in your Partnership Agreement. Lawyers are very expensive which is why you didn’t get a Partnership Agreement when you started out. But there is a solution that will protect you and save you a lot of money.
Beware of Templates
Please do not use “free” templates. Yes, they are around. They are free because they are of no value. In fact, a free template that allows you to plug in a few variables could be worse than no agreement at all. You want a good Partnership Agreement that has clear provisions for the problems that come up. I cited only a few above.
Many of the templates say that in the event of dispute, the partners agree to accept arbitration as a means to resolution. That’s fine except most disputes are small (though emotionally huge) and the cost of arbitration means you won’t ever use it.
How to Save Money AND Get a Great Partnership Agreement
Lawyers now cost $450 – $800 an hour on average. I can help you get a much better Partnership Agreement at a far lower cost and it will be customized to your requirements. How? I offer a package that includes an extensive interview and discussion of options with all partners, a set of notes to direct your attorney on what to draft, and a review of the final version of the Partnership Agreement. You’ll save several billable hours of attorney time and you’ll get a great final agreement. I work with YOUR attorney to get you the best agreement at a far lower cost. Why wouldn’t you do this?
Please contact me for details: Contact Chris
Thanks for reading.
Chris Reich, TeachU
“I offer a very unique service. You can arrange a private meeting with all of your partners to work out the provisions you want in your Partnership Agreement. I guide the meeting by bringing up the crucial points and helping you reach agreement. This process will save you money and maybe your interest. You will get a better document than the typical boiler-plate that is often used.
Remember! A poor Partnership Agreement is often worse than no Partnership Agreement.” ~ Chris Reich, Business Partnership Consultant
Call Me to Discuss: (530) 467-5690
When the business partnership breaks down, the darker sides of the personalities come through. A dominant partner turns into a bully. A person who does not do well with conflict will withdraw. As the bully gets more aggressive, the pacifist withdraws further. Eventually, the bully gets so angry they are ready to lock the other partner out. The pacifist quits coming in. The next blowout is over money. The course is as logically predictable as what will happen to your car if you hit the highway with no oil in the engine. It will get louder and louder until the engine seizes.
I recommend that partners talk through a specific issue and then draft an agreement (called a resolution) that sets a policy. You can keep this in a binder to serve as amendments (or foundation) to your Partnership Agreement. In this post I’ll explain how to talk about things that bug you with your partner and how to draft a binding resolution to fix the problems.
Unless you are in some sort of political business, you should keep politics out of your establishment completely. Of course, you have freedom of speech, but we are in very contentious times and displays of political or religious positions might be off-putting to to your customers.