Maybe you and your brother started a lawn care business when you were in high school and the company has grown so large that you have dozens of employees and hundreds of clients. Perhaps you and your sibling inherited equal ownership rights to a business started by one of your parents or grandparents.
Sometimes, owning a business with family members can be a good arrangement. You know you have to treat one another with dignity and respect because you have a relationship outside of business. Other times, a family dynamic can complicate a business’s operations. If you believe that you can no longer share ownership of the company with your sibling, the tips below can help you navigate what could become a messy conflict.
Review the appropriate paperwork
Whether you inherited the company that is technically held by a trust or you started it yourselves, there may be legal documents that govern what happens with the company. Reviewing these documents is important. Beyond reviewing your contractual obligations, it is also smart to go over the financial state of the company so that you can discuss things openly.
Discuss an amicable solution
One of the most important steps that you can take when dealing with a business dispute involving a sibling is to have an earnest conversation with your sibling about the issue. Documentation of your concerns, from customer complaints about your sibling to a financial breakdown to show how they demand too much in pay, might help you resolve the matter and find a way to continue running the business with your sibling.
Keep the focus on preserving your relationship
You don’t want to make a decision now that will permanently alter the dynamic you share with your sibling. Mutual respect and consideration for their perspective are important if you hope to preserve your relationship after buying them out of the business or dissolving the company.
It can be difficult for someone in direct conflict with a sibling and coping with business stress to have an objective perspective on the situation. Talking to a business mentor or family members could help you preserve your interest in the business while also acting to protect your relationship with your siblings.
This conflict involving family members can affect your home life and your financial stability. Taking the right steps when considering business litigation to remove your sibling as a co-owner can minimize the negative familial effects of those changes.