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How to cease a business partnership in Canberra?

By mecapj - 7 February 2011 13

Hi Rioters,

I need some help. Not too long ago, I bought half of shares in a fashion business, then went into a business partnership with the founder of the business. Initially, we didn’t have issues and get along really well. But after a few arguments we had in just one month, I regret going into the partnership with her.

Now I really want to get out of it, because not only I don’t get the respect from her as a business partner, she also shoots down all my ideas, as if the business is still hers only.

I had enough arguments and no longer want to work with her. I did a bit reading about partnership, it seems like the only  solutions are either I buy her shares kick her out of the business or she buys back my shares back which is exactly what I want.

Is there any chance to get my cheque back and reverse the whole thing?

What legal actions can I take if he refuses to return my money? I also intend to find a lawyer to represent myself in this dispute.

Names of experienced lawyers in Canberra would be good too!

ta

What’s Your opinion?


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How to cease a business partnership in Canberra?
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harvyk1 1:32 pm 07 Feb 11

Davo111 said :

If a $200 xbox breaks, do you research your consumer rights? or do you pay $500/hr to a lawyer to tell you your rights?

Let’s put this into perspective, the OP is not talking about a $200 xbox, the OP is talking about a business partnership, which has the potential to be talking in the tens of thousands if not the hundreds of thousands or even the millions depending on the equipment and assets which the business has brought.

The OP may have their house or other major assets leveraged against the business, or more importantly not have their house and other major assets protected in the event the other partner sues.

If you believe that talking to a lawyer is not a good idea because you wouldn’t do it in relation to a $200 xbox, well I hope your never in the OP’s position, because this is the sort of thing that can bankrupt a person.

johnny_the_knife, I had a feeling you would probably suggest lawyering up earlier than later, but I think a sit down discussion may be warranted to try and resolve the issues first, otherwise the act of getting a lawyer involved may be a catalyst for the partnership to break down completely. (that said +1 for using Steven Ganavja at Goodman Law)

Davo111 1:04 pm 07 Feb 11

harvyk1 said :

Blow hundreds of hours trying to work out where you stand, not quite understand the legalese in the agreement \ law, come up with a wrong decision, have it challanged in a court, end up out of pocket with no business, no income and a massive debt.

So whats wrong with some initial research? im not saying op should research for hundreds of hours, but should do some basic research of the business agreement/contract. THEN go visit a lawyer to confirm / ask for further advice.

If a $200 xbox breaks, do you research your consumer rights? or do you pay $500/hr to a lawyer to tell you your rights?

johnny_the_knife 12:49 pm 07 Feb 11

harvyk1 said :

Davo111 said :

Blow x hundred dollars an hour with a lawyer for his opinion?

meh, ask on the forum, find out where you stand, do some research, THEN go see a lawyer.

Blow hundreds of hours trying to work out where you stand, not quite understand the legalese in the agreement \ law, come up with a wrong decision, have it challanged in a court, end up out of pocket with no business, no income and a massive debt.

I would suggest talking with the business partner prior to getting lawyers involved, but if things truely go sour what is said in heat of moment may be used against the OP at a later date if not handled correctly from the beginning. (Trust me on that, the smallest thing can really bite you in the arse at a later date)

I’d actually speak to the lawyer first. That way you know where you stand legally prior to discussing the matter with your partner. I wouldn’t tell them up-front that you are seeking legal advise, but certainly knowing precisely where you stand makes negotiating a lot easier.

I’m assuming (really, really hoping) you actually have a partnership contract which spells all this out, as opposed to simply have a partnership business structure without anything really spelling out what everyone’s rights are. If you don’t have such as contract, you could be headed for a difficult path.
It’s always best to get legal advise prior to entering an agreement rather than when you want to get out of it.

johnny_the_knife 12:45 pm 07 Feb 11

Talk to a lawyer sooner rather than later. I’ve used Steven Ganavja (pronounced Gavanya) at Goodman Law for a range of matters. They have always been helpful and very professional.

harvyk1 12:38 pm 07 Feb 11

Davo111 said :

Blow x hundred dollars an hour with a lawyer for his opinion?

meh, ask on the forum, find out where you stand, do some research, THEN go see a lawyer.

Blow hundreds of hours trying to work out where you stand, not quite understand the legalese in the agreement \ law, come up with a wrong decision, have it challanged in a court, end up out of pocket with no business, no income and a massive debt.

I would suggest talking with the business partner prior to getting lawyers involved, but if things truely go sour what is said in heat of moment may be used against the OP at a later date if not handled correctly from the beginning. (Trust me on that, the smallest thing can really bite you in the arse at a later date)

Davo111 12:24 pm 07 Feb 11

enrique said :

With that in mind, if I was you I would seek some professional advice. In answer to your question about lawyers in Canberra – this link might help…

Blow x hundred dollars an hour with a lawyer for his opinion?

meh, ask on the forum, find out where you stand, do some research, THEN go see a lawyer.

enrique 11:13 am 07 Feb 11

The nature of your questions and the fact that you’re asking a general internet chat/news forum for business advice hints that your level of business acumen borders on the naive. That might explain some of the reasons behind the demise of your partnership

With that in mind, if I was you I would seek some professional advice. In answer to your question about lawyers in Canberra – this link might help…

http://www.yellowpages.com.au/search/listings?clue=business+law&locationClue=Canberra+ACT&x=0&y=0

Best of luck.

Tooks 11:10 am 07 Feb 11

Just ask if she’ll buy you out.

harvyk1 11:04 am 07 Feb 11

First of all talk to your business partner, explain your unhappy with the arrangement and see if something can be done about it. Keep in mind your partner may be unhappy with the way the relationship has been going as well and would be more than happy to discuss the future of the arrangement.

If you can not come to a mutially acceptable arrangement (either by them buying out your half of the business or by coming to some other arrangment which sees a partnership closer to the one you imagined) then get your lawyer to read over your partnership agreement.

This may give you the ability to legally challange how your partner has been acting in relation to the agreement, this may also give you get out clauses which you could enact. This could include forcing the partner to buy out your share, force your partner out of the business, shutting down the business altogether or allowing a third party to buy your share.

I do know that business partnerships can be very fickel, and can cause major problems for both parties. Also rememeber at all times, your business partner want the partnership and business to succeed as they most likely have very heavily vested interests in it.

Good luck.

Chop71 10:36 am 07 Feb 11

shooot her

M0les 10:30 am 07 Feb 11

If the business is a valuable source of income to your partner, you could take the nuclear option: Devalue it (i.e. run it poorly – presuming you have some operational involvement).

dtc 10:12 am 07 Feb 11

If you have a partnership agreement (you do dont you…) – read that. If not, the Partnership Act may be of use.

Partnership breakups – business or family – can produce the most bitter, vindictive and costly court battles around. So, like with divorce, think conciliatory before revenge.

Gooch 9:59 am 07 Feb 11

You can make a public annoucement you intend to sell, the she may want to buy her shares back if the risk is getting half her business bought out by a competitor.

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