While business divorce is often the result of dramatic circumstances such as breach of fiduciary duty or illegal activities, it is not uncommon for a partnership to dissolve based on more common challenges. No matter the size of the organization or the scope of the business, it is wise to anticipate even small disagreements that can lead to a dispute that could change the course of the business.
Even though disputes are generally tied to the unique nature of the business, the types of products and the organization of leadership duties, there are several common factors that can lead to a partnership dissolution, including:
- Partners have grown apart: While the excitement of owning a business might sustain partnerships for years or even decades, it is not uncommon for partners to simply grow apart. This can be based on changing goals, changing motivations or even changes in their personal lives.
- Small disagreements can lead to large disputes: Over the course of the organization’s life, partnership disputes are a common occurrence. Even though these disputes are often resolved to the satisfaction of both parties, there can be underlying emotions. It is not uncommon for one partner to feel as if they never get the final say or none of their suggestions are given credence. This might lead to a partnership dissolution.
- Business fatigue: For some, the excitement of business ownership lies in the act of creating and growing the organization. Once the business has matured, they might prefer to begin anew. Additionally, business ownership can be a demanding venture requiring individuals to sacrifice a great deal of their personal lives to the company. Many people simply become tired of this level of commitment.
Whether it is a billion-dollar organization or a cherished family business, partnership dissolution can be a devastating occurrence. It is wise to be aware of the potential problems that partners face in any size organization so they can be resolved to everyone’s satisfaction.