You started a business that has done very well. You and your business partner each invested $100,000 in it to get it off the ground, but it’s now a multi-million dollar business. You’re happy with the success, and you want to see just how far you can take things.
Your business partner, on the other hand, believes that you’ve already been successful enough. They want to sell the business, because, from their perspective, they have turned $100,000 into a few million dollars. They were just looking to maximize their investment anyway, so they want out.
Obviously, the two of you can work to secure a compromise, but what if neither one of you will budge? Is it possible for your business partner to force you to sell the company?
Your partnership agreement controls your rights
This is one reason that having a partnership agreement is very important. Ideally, you will have already discussed how you are supposed to move forward if one person wants to leave the company. You may have already set up a structure for how the other portion of the company will be purchased, perhaps giving you the ability to buy out your partner’s share.
But even having an agreement in place doesn’t mean that this will always work smoothly. Buying the other half of the business may be prohibitively expensive for you, for instance. If you still do not want to sell to a third party, and your business partner wants out, then it may require going to court to get a ruling on how you should proceed. Regardless, when you find yourself in this type of disagreement, it’s very important to know what legal options you have.