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Los Angeles Business Organizations Law Blog

Has a once strong partnership gone downhill?

Starting a business may have always been a dream of yours. Acting as your own boss, having the ability to delegate tasks to others and generally being in charge may have been very appealing to you. Of course, you may have understood that you could not do everything on your own, and as a result, you created a partnership in order to have the input of another person in the running of the company.

Unfortunately, what may have started out as a beneficial arrangement may have turned sour after time. Many issues between partners can cause disputes that seem insurmountable, and as a result, legal action may prove necessary in order to address the conflict or to dissolve the partnership entirely.

Litigation isn't always the right answer in business disputes

You may be the consummate professional when it comes to your business dealings. You treat others you engage in business with in the same manner in which you wish them to treat you. You follow through with your contractual obligations and expect the same from others.

When a dispute arose between you and another party, you probably attempted to resolve it amicably, but found that just wasn't possible for whatever reason. Informal discussions broke down, emotions ran high and both sides made threats of litigation. However, litigation may not be the right answer in your situation. It may be worth your while to find an alternative method for resolving the dispute that doesn't drain your financial resources, take up a great deal of time and irrevocably destroy the business relationship.

Small businesses are vulnerable to many types of lawsuits

Running your own business means watching every dime. The success of your business is your personal victory, and you have likely staked your livelihood, your future and your reputation on its success. This is why, in addition to protecting your bottom line, you want to protect your business from lawsuits.

While you may feel you have that threat under control with careful compliance and due diligence, the possibility that someone will file a claim against your company is very real and dangerous to ignore. More companies face lawsuits than ever before, and some of them don't survive.

When can a seller back out of a real estate contract?

Searching for real estate can be frustrating and time consuming. Often, a potential buyer looks at dozens of offerings before finding one that will suit. When you finally found the perfect property, you may have felt a mixture of relief and excitement. Whether your pending purchase was for a business venture or your new home, you likely began making plans right away.

You probably paid to have an inspector check over the property, and perhaps you engaged contractors to make renovations or repairs. Maybe you sold your old house, bought new furnishings or rented a storage unit. It must have been a shock to you when the seller pulled out of the sale without warning.

You think marriage is tough? Business partnerships may be tougher

You've probably read all about the high divorce rate in the nation. If you're married, you may have firsthand experience with how challenging marriage can be at times. If you also happen to be a California business owner who is currently navigating the start-up phase with a new partner, you may be at risk for a break-up since the dissolution of business partnerships during the start-up phase is approximately 20-30 percent higher than the average divorce rate.

Perhaps you already have an inkling that your partnership may split. You respect the other person; after all, you shared a dream and really gave it your all in trying to bring that dream to fruition. If you still hope to make your business successful, and you want to part on good terms, you may want to seek guidance for how best to proceed to obtain an amicable separation of interests.

Your music may strike a cord with another artist

Music is nearly everywhere you turn. Even if you aren't an avid music lover, you will hear music in movies, on television and even in video games. As an artist, you may use elements of another musician's work, but you strive to make it your own.

However, if that other artist believes that your song is too similar, you could face a complaint of copyright infringement. You automatically create a copyright when you write or record a piece of music.

Signature or handshake: Which contract is best for you?

You probably make business agreements on a daily basis without a contract. When you order food at a restaurant, drop off your dry cleaning or get a haircut, you don't feel the need to negotiate terms. Even if you buy or sell a car to a family member or ask a good friend to help with a home repair, it may never occur to you that a signature on paper is necessary.

Perhaps you have conducted your small business this way too. The familiar, trusting method of reaching an agreement and sealing it with a handshake may seem sufficient for your clients. However, what happens if something goes wrong?

The 1-star truth behind negative reviews

When you have a rare evening free from work, you certainly want to make the most of it. If you decide to try a new restaurant or see a movie, like many California consumers, you may check various websites for reviews and ratings. After all, your time and money are precious, and you don't want to waste either on a bad experience.

Trusting in online reviews is widespread. People can post their opinions of hotels, home improvement contractors, items they buy online, even their college professors. However, you may have been shocked to read a scathing review of your own business, and the details of the post make you believe it was not authentic.

What does it take to make a partnership work?

Many different factors make up a business relationship. Partners must have similar skills, the ability to communicate and a common business goal to have a chance at success. Even with these things in play, the partnership may not work.

If you decided to go into business with a partner, the chances are good that the partnership started as a friendship. You and your partner likely had mutual interests and a certain degree of respect for each other as business associates. When it works well, your business may thrive. When it isn't working, you and your partner may make each other miserable.

3 questions to ask during a business partnership dispute

Before entering into your business partnership, you likely asked yourself and your potential partner numerous questions. These questions undoubtedly allowed you to gain a better idea of whether the partnership would feasibly work and whether your business ideals aligned. Once you covered all the areas you felt pertained to the situation, you likely moved forward with your business partnership in a confident manner.

Of course, even strong beginnings can turn into unfortunate endings. As a result, you may have recently found yourself at odds with your business partner. Partnership disputes occur relatively often in the business world, and you may wonder the best way to handle your particular predicament. When assessing the problem, you may want to ask yourself and your partner these questions:

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