A business partnership is a lot like a marriage. As in any other relationship, there are ups and downs, and owners can argue and potentially get into disputes. If there is a dispute about who owns what, things can get messy, especially if the parties do not have a previous partnership agreement in place.
If you disagree with a partner in your company, talk to a lawyer skilled at handling business ownership disputes in Georgia. An experienced attorney at Sparks Law can help you review any existing contracts and represent you in any lawsuits.
A well-crafted partnership agreement in writing can be key to settling future disputes over business ownership. However, if partners did not write an agreement with help from a lawyer, they may face additional legal bills to figure out the terms of their partnership after the fact. This could involve an attorney reviewing emails, text messages, or verbal conversations to determine who owns what.
There are different types of shareholders that can be involved in a business ownership dispute. Some shareholders have managerial power and control over a company, and thus would be much more heavily involved in a lawsuit or a dispute. On the other hand, minority or silent shareholders who don’t really participate in managing the company may be less invested in an ownership dispute. Regardless, anyone involved in a business ownership dispute can benefit from consulting a nearby attorney on their situation.
Ownership disputes frequently result from dissolving a business. However, this doesn’t always involve a business entirely shutting down. For instance, the partners may decide to start up their own versions of the business and shut down the initial one.
Quite often, business owners have a breakup agreement (basically a business divorce) to no longer work together, and they might let go of the company to each set up their own competing companies. Alternatively, one partner might buy the other partner out, in which case they maintain the company. Often, business partners will get a loan, such as an SBA loan, to buy out their business partner and continue with the company after buying them out. Any of these scenarios can lead to complex business dealings and inevitable ownership disputes without guidance from an experienced lawyer.
Usually, the attorney that represents the company has a conflict of interest, so they cannot represent an individual owner against the other partners. The company’s attorney can continue to represent the business itself and go along with whatever the partners agree to do management-wise, if they come to a resolution.
However, in legal disputes, each partner will typically need to hire their own lawyer to review the circumstances and partnership agreement. At Sparks Law, our legal team has years of experience advising clients on how to proceed in business ownership disputes. One of our skilled lawyers can negotiate with the other side’s legal counsel to pursue the desired result, whether that be some kind of buyout, a dissolution, or another outcome.
It is important to work with a seasoned attorney when establishing a business partnership. Legal counsel can help you create well-tailored contracts that prevent disputes down the line and save significant time and stress. However, if you are already involved in internal company disagreements, your next best move is to get a lawyer involved as soon as possible.
At Sparks Law, our attorneys have handled many business ownership disputes in Georgia and can discuss an appropriate strategy for navigating your specific circumstances. Give us a call today to get started.