Going into business can be a good thing. Going into the business with a partner to share the load can be a great thing. The only problem with sharing a company with a partner is that, sometimes, partners do not always agree on things. This week’s column will address three common disputes that plague company partners — whether their businesses are located in Georgia or elsewhere — and discuss if business litigation is the right way to resolve these problems.
Problem number one is: the money dispute. What is it about money that makes people go mad? In many business partnerships, it is not uncommon for partners to have different ideas about how company funds should be used. It is also not uncommon for one partner to blame the other for embezzling. Many money issues can be avoided by setting up clear rules for fund use from the get-go.
Problem number two is: disputes over operations. Partners often have different ideas for how their company should be run. The best way to resolve operation disputes is by talking things out. This may be done either in private or with the help of legal counsel. If negotiations fail, it may be time to look at other legal remedies — such as dissolving the partnership, bringing on someone else or taking the issue to court.
Finally, problem number three is: the intellectual property dispute. Who does the intellectual property belong to — the individual or the company? This is something that partners need to discuss upfront so steps can be taken to protect the property and its owner. Without the proper legal documentation, even if one partner is the original owner of the intellectual property, it may become company property.
Business litigation is really a last resort when dealing with partnership disputes. Going to court takes time and money, which may only hurt all parties involved in the long run. An experienced attorney may be able to help business partners in Georgia work through their disputes without having to set foot in a courtroom. If alternative dispute resolution methods fail to produce desirable results, then the matter may be litigated.