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What if you and your business partner can’t agree?

You and your business partner have to work together to make decisions for the company. There are only two of you, so you either have to come to an agreement or compromise. There’s no way to do something like putting it to a vote.

For some companies, this works forever. But many will eventually run into a point where both business partners simply cannot agree on which way to proceed. Since there is no option to vote, as other companies may have, what should you do?

Ideally, your partnership agreement addresses this

One of the jobs of a partnership agreement is to set up some sort of dispute resolution process. The first thing you should do is check this document and use this process to see if it can solve it for you.

In some cases, the partnership agreement will stipulate that, in the absence of a path that the two of you can agree on, one person will have to buy out the other person’s share of the company. This means that you may get your way, but you may have to help your partner exit the business because they don’t want to take it in the same direction. This gives both of you some security because you know you will at least get your money out of the business.

If none of this will work in your specific case or if you don’t have a partnership agreement at all, then it may be time to consider your legal options. Cases like this often wind up in court, and it’s important to know what steps to take and what rights you have.