Starting a new business in New York with a partner is exciting and it feels like the sky is the limit. Dissolving that partnership is complex and often frustrating. Not only do you have to navigate the complicated legal process, but you feel like that dream you both worked toward has died.
That said, if you have a bad business partner, your dream may have never been anything more than a dream. It just wasn't realistic. Your best option for your future is to put that false dream behind you and end the business relationship before it causes any serious complications.
So, how do you know if you have a bad business partner and it's time to make such a drastic change? Here are seven different signs to watch out for:
You carry most of the weight. The duties and tasks required for the business do not get split up evenly. Your partner makes you do more of the work and always seems too busy to take on the same level of stress and responsibility.
Your partner doesn't want a legal relationship in the first place. You bring up the idea of a partnership agreement to define your roles and your rights, but he or she shoots it down or won't sign.
When you don't agree on something, nothing gets done. You do not have the ability to disagree or argue in a productive manner. No one ever makes a compromise. Unless you agree from the very beginning, everything grinds to a halt.
You disagree about basic things regarding your employment. These may include how much money you get for expenses, how much time off you can take and the like. You need to define these things at the beginning.
You think differently about money. Your partner wants to spend and take on debt, for instance, while you want to save money and use a more conservative approach. Whenever the company has to spend, you both resent the other person.
You disagree about the types of jobs you will take. You don't mind doing small jobs for local companies, for instance, while your partner wants to go after large corporate accounts. This isn't to say you can't do both, but you must agree on the focus and vision of the company.
You disagree on what to charge your clients. For example, perhaps your partner always wants to charge top-end prices and you like to do more pro bono work. Again, if you can't agree on finances, it's going to cause problems.
If you do decide that it's time to break off the business relationship, be sure you know exactly what legal options you have and what steps to take.