When you go into business with a partner, it’s your hope that you get along 100% of the time. However, even if this holds true most the time, there will be situations in which a dispute moves to the forefront.

The way you handle a partnership dispute is critical to the current and future well-being of your relationship and company as a whole.

Here are some tips you can follow:

  • Fall back on your operating agreement: There’s a good chance that the reason for your dispute is covered in your operating agreement, which outlines the terms and conditions of your partnership.
  • Talk it out: You’re business partners, which means you should be working toward the better good of the company as a whole. If you can’t respectfully talk out issues, you may want to consider moving on. If you’re going to succeed, you should be able to work through even the biggest disagreements.
  • Take a breather: If you’re struggling to find common ground, take a step back so the both of you can better understand what’s at stake. This time away may be just what you need to understand your partner’s point of view and formulate a mutually acceptable plan.
  • Find help: If you’re getting nowhere in a hurry, a mediator may be able to help. This person doesn’t make decisions on behalf of either person, but instead helps you move toward a resolution in a peaceful manner.
  • Consider a buyout agreement: Depending on the severity of the dispute, you and/or your partner may come to realize that you simply can’t work together anymore. Should this happen, you must discuss what comes next, which can include the creation of a buyout agreement. This is a last resort, but it’s something you should keep in the back of your mind.

When you follow these tips, you’ll find it easier to handle any type of partnership dispute that comes your way.

Even though it may seem like there’s no end in sight, there’s a solution to every problem. Just make sure you’re taking steps to protect your legal rights as part owner of the business.