Help with a Voluntary Exit from Your Partnership (Buyout)
Help with a Negotiated Buyout
It can be very difficult to get out of a partnership if the relationship has soured. You’ll meet resistance to the price you want and you ‘ll have a hard time getting clear of liabilities. It’s important to handle the negotiated buyout very carefully.
Cut the Stress. If Your Partnership Cannot Be Fixed, Get Help Negotiating a Voluntary Redemption of Your Interest.
When you feel like your situation is hopeless and you need to get out of your partnership, get advice before you start talking with your partner about leaving the business. If the partnership has soured, your partner may be happy that you have decided to leave. Under those circumstances, you probably aren’t going to get much for your interest. The bigger problem may be your on-going responsibility for taxes and other liabilities. Taking $1 for your interest doesn’t free you from the obligations incurred when you signed the lease and if the business fails later, you could get a bill for the balance left on the lease.
The first step in getting out of the business is to review your Operating and Partnership Agreements. If those were never drafted, you still want to gather all the information on everything you signed with an obligation. That includes leases, lines of credit, credit cards, and any other debt that the partnership took on. It’s not about getting your partner to agree to assume your portion of the debt; the creditors must agree to release you. This can be the hardest part of getting out of a relatively young business. If the business has a decent track record of paying bills, the creditors are more likely to agree to your release.
We Have No Money for a Buyout? No Problem. There Are Other Solutions.
There is usually a cash shortage to fund a buyout when the partners are feuding. It is also very difficult to raise money for a buyout because investors don’t like to see their money leave the business. But there are lots of workable alternatives to
There are alternatives to buying each other out.
A buyout isn’t the only answer. Often we can find ways to help get the partnership operating smoothly. In many cases, a stressed partnership can be worked into a civil, functional and profitable relationship. Sometimes that is as simple as restructuring responsibilities and getting written agreements in place. Sometimes a business can be divided.
If the situation is very bad, it may be best if the partnership is dissolved and the business liquidated. That’s harsh but it may be your best option. There are some situations where a client should dissolve the business to prevent
Act While You Can
If you act while it’s still possible to talk with your partner and before the business gets into trouble, you might reach a decent agreement. If you burn out and stop participating in the business, you could lose your interest if the case goes to court. It’s always better to avoid the fight rather than be subject to any risk. Anything can happen in court.
Where Do You Start?
Get advice. Once the reality of your position is sorted out, you can make an offer to your partner and open negotiations for your voluntary redemption of interests.
My rates are a fraction of the cost of getting attorneys involved. Once an agreement has been reached, you can have a lawyer review it. That’s cheaper for all concerned.
If you are in a partnership and need to get out, call me for a free, no pressure, no obligation, consultation. Even if we don’t end up working together, you will feel a lot better after we talk.
Chris (530) 467-5690
You asked for it so I’m offering binding mediation under specific terms. Before we get to those terms, let me explain binding mediation.
If you make an agreement with your business partner that you will ALWAYS reach agreement on ANY business item that comes up, no matter how strongly you both feel and no matter how far apart on an issue, your partnership will thrive.
A few people have asked for this: Set up a place where you can submit questions about your own partnership problems. I liked the idea so much, I did it!
In order to remove a partner you’ll need to take legal action and then you must prove your case in court.
You don’t need someone in your town with years of experience, a successful methodology, and great rates when you can call me in as your business mediator!
If parties to mediation aren’t honest with the mediator, it makes for a crippled process. When outright deception is practiced, the mediator could be forced to walk away from trying to help.
If you have a problem with a business partner. Let me offer two pieces of advice:
- Don’t wait to act. A problem with a business partner will only get worse. That means more expense to resolve, more stress than now, and less chance the business will survive.
- DO NOT make any comments to your partner like “I just want out” or “I don’t care what I get; I just want out”. Statements like that weaken your negotiating ability. You may find that the other partner may see this as a green light to take even further advantage of you. Never, ever make those statements. Once we sit down with all parties to settle your situation, we can propose that you exit free of all further responsibility and liability. But we never want to make those statements until it’s time for serious negotiations. You have rights. Don’t throw them away.
Chris Reich (Pronounced Rich)
1+ (530) 467-5690
9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Pacific Time Zone
Yes, I work nights and weekends by arrangement. Call any time. I will always get right back to you.
Clients who have worked with lawyers, counselors, consultants, and coaches often tell me that my business mediation service is the best and least expensive way to fix a partnership.
— Chris Reich, Business Mediator