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Getting Out of a Business Partnership


Entrepreneurs thrive on the constantly shifting alliances of business entities and partners.  Many successful business people have bought and sold ownership interest in multiple companies over the course of their careers; they may have even established some new business entities, alone or with partners, or dissolved some business entities.  The breakup of business partnerships is a normal part of doing business, but it can involve bitter disputes that can lead to all the parties involved incurring financial losses.  Even if you and your business partners were friends when you went into business together and intend to remain friends after going your separate ways, it is important to have clear documentation of everything, in order to prevent future legal disputes.  A Washington DC small business lawyer can help you dissolve a business entity or remove yourself from a business partnership even if the other partners continue working together.

Which Partners Will Stay, and Which Ones Will Go?

When you file the initial paperwork to establish a business, one of the first steps is to choose an entity type, also known as a business structure.  Some business structures require the owners of the business to write a partnership agreement.  This agreement should contain provisions about how to dissolve the partnership as well as for the procedures to follow if one partner wishes to leave the partnership or if the other partners want to remove a partner because of misconduct or non-fulfillment of obligations.

Do You Need a Lawyer to Dissolve a Business Partnership?

In the best cases, the partners simply follow the procedures in the partnership agreement so that the partners can divide the company’s assets and settle its debts when it dissolves.  Determining the value of the assets owned by a company and the debts it owes can be much more difficult than determining the value of the assets and debts of an individual.  The partners might disagree about how much money there is to go around, even if they agree about which former partner should get which fraction of it.  A business law attorney can help you resolve disputes about the valuation of your company’s assets and debts.

It is especially important to hire a business lawyer if the business is dissolving or trying to remove a partner because that partner has been trying to conceal assets or has otherwise been engaging in dishonest dealings.  Another instance where a business partnership breakup could require the help of a business lawyer is if you do not have a partnership agreement or other document that includes details about dissolving the business entity.  A lawyer can also help you if the business entity has already resolved but you want to sue a former business partner for the financial losses you suffered because of his or her actions.

Contact Us About Dissolving a Business Partnership

A Washington, D.C. estate planning attorney can help you break up with your business partners or dissolve a business entity.  Contact Tobin, O’Connor & Ewing in Washington, D.C. or call 202-362-5900.



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