A fabulous business idea that seems destined for success can easily become derailed by a dispute between partners. Unfortunately, plenty of startups have discovered that one half of the initial leadership team isn't upholding their side of the deal, or wants to go in a different direction not in line with the best interests of the business. If that problem doesn’t have a clear path to a solution within the framework of your established operations, it’s time to speak with an attorney.
Partnership Disputes that May Affect Louisiana Businesses
The number of potential disputes between partners are as varied as the number of types of businesses in Louisiana. However, they often share similar traits, such as one partner simply becoming dead weight and failing in their obligations to the business. In other cases, your partner may have openly breached the original contract in some way and is now causing harm to the company.
Specific disputes that you may need to speak with a qualified New Orleans business attorney about resolving can include:
- Breach of contract
- Breach of loyalty
- Disclosing confidential info or trade secrets
- Lack of basic acceptable work performance
- Misappropriating assets
- Personal disputes between partners that affect business operations or employee morale
- Suspected criminal activity
- Trademark infringement
- Using company equipment or funds for a different venture
Partnership Dispute Resolution Methods in Louisiana
Serious disputes in a partnership are often unexpected, and can lead to major problems within the business. That’s why prevention ahead of time is always better than dealing with a major issue down the road once the excitement of a new business has worn off and your partner is no longer on your good side.
The best method to prevent these kinds of disputes is to clearly define the compensation, role, and responsibilities of each partner ahead of time. Setting these expectations down in the articles of incorporation, along with potential penalties or processes for resolving the issue, provides clarity on how to proceed when a problem arises.
That’s one crucial reason to meet with a business startup attorney early in the process. It's in your best interest to have documentation of how disputes should be handled and where the business goes next.
If that’s not the case and the way to proceed is unclear, there are still a number of options you can pursue with the help of a skilled business litigation lawyer. Some of your potential options during a Louisiana business dispute include:
- Buying out the problem partner if your articles of incorporation include a clause allowing for this eventuality
- Creating a corporate spin-off
- Dissolving the partnership entirely and enacting your business exit strategy
- Filing litigation against the offending partner for legally actionable behavior like a breach of contract
- Pursuing mediation or arbitration to find an amicable solution for both parties
An attorney is a critical component in finding the best option for your situation, which may not always be obvious. You may also need to consider your own liability and how your business may be affected by negative press, particularly if a partner is committing crimes.
If mediation isn’t possible and litigation becomes necessary, your attorney will need to investigate and gather various types of evidence pertaining to the case. From there, your legal counsel can help to establish your partner’s fiduciary duty to the company and clearly show how that duty was violated, as well as possible damages you may be owed.
Protect Yourself and Your Business With the Help of a Qualified Louisiana Attorney
Are you currently embroiled in a dispute with your business partner or are you looking for ways to avoid a dispute in the making? We want to hear from you and find out how to help resolve the situation. Keep your business and your legal rights safe by getting in touch with our trial-savvy team at 504-500-1111 or send a message online here.