If you decide to go into business with a partner, you’re looking forward to the many benefits it will bring to your company. For example, they may have specific experience and knowledge that will help get your company off the ground in the early days.

While it’s common to go into business with a partner (or several partners), there’s something you need to remember: You’re not working alone. And for this reason, you must make sure you take steps to protect against business partner disputes.

There’s nothing you can do to guarantee that a dispute will never come to light, but here are some steps you can take to minimize the risk of it happening:

  • Create a contract: With a legal contract in place, you and your partner have a clear idea of your working arrangement and what’s expected both now and in the future. Furthermore, this can protect the both of you in the event that a dispute turns into litigation.
  • Outline the terms and conditions of your partnership: For instance, make note of the responsibilities of both partners. This helps protect against one or both of you not doing what you agreed to.
  • Keep an open line of communication: This is top priority, as it ensures that you and your partner are always willing to talk things out before a disagreement turns into something more serious. It doesn’t matter how you communicate with one another, as long as the both of you are comfortable doing so.
  • Don’t rush to judgement: If your business partner does something you don’t agree with, collect all the facts before confronting them. And when you bring your concerns to light, don’t accuse your partner of anything. Tell them what you’re thinking, hear them out and then decide what to do next.

When you take these steps, you’re in better position to protect against a business partner dispute. Unfortunately, even “the best-laid plans … often go awry” and can take a turn for the worse.

If you find yourself in the middle of a serious dispute with your business partner, collect all applicable information and then learn more about your legal rights.

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