East Bay Small Business Attorney Has Experience In These Matters
Some of the best business partnerships go stale with one wrong move. Close friends become enemies; tight-knit families become distant relatives. This is the risk you take when you go into business with friends or family. However, when you take the right steps upfront, you can minimize the possibility of future disputes.
First, consult with a lawyer or small business attorney. Consider the time and expense of proper planning and advice part of the initial investment in the business that will pay dividends in the long run.
If you are starting a business with partners, take the following steps to protect your personal and professional relationship:
Document the terms of the agreement and make sure it is signed by all parties. Whether you are using an operating agreement for an LLC, a partnership agreement for a general or limited partnership, or a shareholder agreement for a corporation, spell out in writing the responsibilities and expectations for all parties involved. Be as specific as possible, and try to predict, rather than avoid, potential issues. Make sure that these issues are discussed and addressed in the written document. Should a question arise in the future, you can rely on the written agreement as a point of reference and, in some cases, the ultimate answer to the issue. Consult with a contracts attorney who can discuss the important components you need to include.
Hire an Attorney
If you are a do-it-yourself kind of person, you might be tempted to write a contract on your own or pull a generic one off the internet. Because every business is unique and has different models, trying to modify a generic agreement you found online might bind you to obligations and procedures that aren’t best for you, or the business, in the long run. The best agreement is tailor-made and suited to match the unique structure of your partnership, LLC or corporation. A business attorney will know how to create an agreement for you and your business that fits.
Be Timely & Focused
If a dispute arises with your partner after you are in business, set a specific time to try to work it out and stick with timeframe. Remember to focus on the solution and not trying to prove you are right. If you or your partner get stuck in the blame game, the chances of finding a solution decrease significantly and your business relationship will be in jeopardy.
Our Firm Serves Businesses In and Around the East Bay
To learn more about the legal aspects of business partnerships and how to protect them, contact Poniatowski Law Corporation at (510) 881-8700. We have locations in Oakland, Pleasanton, and Castro Valley to represent your business’ needs.