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Signs that you should end a business partnership

Maybe your business partnership never really felt as solid and viable as you wished it did. Conversely, maybe you had high hopes when the two of you started working together and you really did think it was an ideal match. Either way, you’ve come to a conclusion that you cannot avoid any longer: It’s time for it to end.

In fact, things have gotten to the point where you feel like staying in that business relationship is going to ruin the company. It’s toxic. The other person is a constant drain on your time, money, emotions and effort. What other red flags should you look for, telling you that it’s time to end it?

1. They refuse to accept that you both have different roles

Understanding specific roles is critical for the health of the business. If they refuse to accept that they have certain responsibilities and that they need to let you do your job, it can feel like they are either shirking their duties or trying to take over your position. Either way, this type of conflict can make it impossible to work together.

2. They do not use business funds properly

Maybe you have extreme examples, like a business partner who takes company funds for private purchases. Maybe it’s not that bad, but they simply waste money on things you do not think are important. Either way, their spending habits threaten to bankrupt the business or at least hold it back from proper growth.

3. The two of you cannot communicate well

This can go two different ways. Maybe they never speak up, never voice their opinions and won’t talk about what they want for the company. On the other hand, maybe they never listen to you and always try to force their own opinions to take precedence. Either way, unhealthy communication makes it hard to run a company together.

4. They’re selfish. When you work together, the company has to come first. If they’re selfish and only put themselves first, it not only hurts you — it also harms the business. They might even act like it’s not a business at all, instead choosing to act as if they are in charge and everything they do is to support their own goals. It’s fine to be motivated and care about personal success, but you need to be wary when they care more about that than they do about you or the company overall.

If you have seen some of these red flags or any others, remember that ending a business partnership is a legal process. You have contractual obligations. You need to consider the future of the business. Take your time and be sure you understand exactly what steps you need to take in New Jersey.

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