business partner probs

29 replies
He's lazy and honestly working with him for the past year has compromised my dedication and will power. He's always talking about how we'll "get it done as fast as we can", but the problem is I work 5x faster than him. Also I am unable to work at nights or on weekends, because I'll be paying him 50% of those hours that I worked.

Don't know why I'm telling you guys this... Maybe you've had a similar experience?
#business #firing #partner
  • Profile picture of the author Texas_Guns
    Yes, been there before. If two people are not on the same
    page and not sharing the responsibilities and work equally,
    then why be 50/50 partners?

    I hope you have strong agreements between you two. If
    so, talk to your attorney and proceed with getting full control
    over the company.

    If you do not have company agreements, then you may be in
    for a time-intensive battle.

    Been there. Done that. Learned to have STRONG agreements,
    even if the individual is your best friend, family member, etc.
    the hard way.
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    • Profile picture of the author chris_duport
      We have no legal agreement right now. Nothing on paper says it's 50/50. However a member of my family is a lawyer and told me I really don't have much to worry about.

      He's been here too, except his views are a little more harsh. "If he's the anchor, cut it loose, pull the trigger immediately."

      He thinks I should just change all the PWs, take all the clients, and at most offer him a months pay to find a job or whatever he decides to do.

      Our office is at his house, so the only awkward part is going to be moving all my stuff.

      But I really don't care, because I know I'm going to be much more successful by myself... Or with another person who has the same dedication as me.
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      • Profile picture of the author excuzemee
        Originally Posted by chris_duport View Post

        We have no legal agreement right now. Nothing on paper says it's 50/50. However a member of my family is a lawyer and told me I really don't have much to worry about.

        He's been here too, except his views are a little more harsh. "If he's the anchor, cut it loose, pull the trigger immediately."

        He thinks I should just change all the PWs, take all the clients, and at most offer him a months pay to find a job or whatever he decides to do.

        Our office is at his house, so the only awkward part is going to be moving all my stuff.

        But I really don't care, because I know I'm going to be much more successful by myself... Or with another person who has the same dedication as me.
        It depends on your relationship with the guy, and whether or not you want future contact, but what your lawyer told you here, is what I would do.

        I would take it all.

        and let my partner fight to get it back, ESPECIALLY if you have no agreements in writing.

        After taking it all, he can discuss with you what wants/gets. This way you are in the position of power to say yes, no, maybe so, or F#@& off.

        Take all the change all the passwords to all the accounts to everything, hire someone to help you with this if need be. As to clients, I am not sure of your business, but put them all into a database that you control, and let that sit, and then make the break.

        send a message or call each of the clients to let them know that the business is being split up, and that they have the option to stay with you, or to come back to you if they so choose. Leave them every option, to choose for themselves to go back to your partner or to stay on.

        If this is even the case.

        Take it all, let him fight to get it back, if it means that much to him.
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        • Profile picture of the author chris_duport
          Originally Posted by excuzemee View Post

          It depends on your relationship with the guy, and whether or not you want future contact, but what your lawyer told you here, is what I would do.

          I would take it all.

          and let my partner fight to get it back, ESPECIALLY if you have no agreements in writing.

          After taking it all, he can discuss with you what wants/gets. This way you are in the position of power to say yes, no, maybe so, or F#@& off.

          Take all the change all the passwords to all the accounts to everything, hire someone to help you with this if need be. As to clients, I am not sure of your business, but put them all into a database that you control, and let that sit, and then make the break.

          send a message or call each of the clients to let them know that the business is being split up, and that they have the option to stay with you, or to come back to you if they so choose. Leave them every option, to choose for themselves to go back to your partner or to stay on.

          If this is even the case.

          Take it all, let him fight to get it back, if it means that much to him.
          I agree with your point of view. I don't think he's got the balls to fight back. He knows he's a lazy **** and this is my business
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  • Profile picture of the author crushthenet
    Sounds like a good idea to me, that would drive me nuts!

    I'm passionate about this stuff so I have no problem doing it all day. If I had to work with someone like that though, well, I wouldn't.... lol I'd run far away..... Cuz now you spend your time thinking about him and not focusing on your work.
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    • Profile picture of the author chris_duport
      Originally Posted by crushthenet View Post

      Sounds like a good idea to me, that would drive me nuts!

      I'm passionate about this stuff so I have no problem doing it all day. If I had to work with someone like that though, well, I wouldn't.... lol I'd run far away..... Cuz now you spend your time thinking about him and not focusing on your work.
      That's exactly it, I'm a die hard Internet marketer, and I'm willing to put my life on hold to win the game. I'm sick of worrying about paying him 50% of all my hard work I've put in.

      In total I think he's made like 10 websites, and almost nothing more over a full YEAR.

      Some people just DON'T have what it takes. He expects everything to be just handed to him. He doesn't want to put in the time unless it's 9-5.
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  • Profile picture of the author Lou Diamond
    Hello,
    what ever you do GET IT IN WRITING.
    I had a friend help me with a website and he considered himself my new partner, when it started to make money he had his hand out, I paid him once and I get it in writing that there would be no more payments ever.
    He still asks me for money every six months and I always show him the paper that he signed.
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    Something new soon.

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  • Profile picture of the author abdulquddus
    @ chris_duport

    Right decision, leave him immediately
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  • Profile picture of the author Ben Roy
    If you've been operating the biz together for a long time, I definitely don't think you should just cut him off from everything and try to take the business. Sounds like a great way to get sued. You should either a) tell him you want to put a formal arrangement in place to protect yourselves, etc, and create an LLC. Make sure you put in terms for exiting the business (shotgun clause?). or b) tell him you want to go a different way and try to buy him out.

    If the biz is worth continuing to run, then it's worth working it out in a way that won't bite you later.
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    • Profile picture of the author chris_duport
      Originally Posted by Ben Roy View Post

      If you've been operating the biz together for a long time, I definitely don't think you should just cut him off from everything and try to take the business. Sounds like a great way to get sued. You should either a) tell him you want to put a formal arrangement in place to protect yourselves, etc, and create an LLC. Make sure you put in terms for exiting the business (shotgun clause?). or b) tell him you want to go a different way and try to buy him out.

      If the biz is worth continuing to run, then it's worth working it out in a way that won't bite you later.
      I can't buy him out because there is no legal agreement stating 50/50%. If he tried to sue, I don't think he'd get anywhere.

      Legally speaking, he has no grounds to sue me on... However my family member is going to provide me with a legal letterhead stating the separation is happening.

      I had even explained to him that I wanted 51% of the company when we became a LLC, and he said he wanted it to be 50/50. Probably not a good chance of getting anywhere by creating an LLC.
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      • Profile picture of the author Myles Sinclair
        Originally Posted by chris_duport View Post


        "....Legally speaking, he has no grounds to sue me on... However my family member is going to provide me with a legal letterhead stating the separation is happening....."
        Really? The business is run from his premises, using his electricity. His equipment?
        He's also built ten of the websites in your porfolio?

        You may have every right to be angry with him, but if you dissolve the partnership, you will find that he has rights too. Although you don't have a written agreement, that doesn't mean it's fair game for either partner to seize the entire business at the expense of the other.

        It would probably be in the interests of both of you to reach an amicable agreement as to how the business is shared out.
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        • Profile picture of the author chris_duport
          Separating all the networks we're a part of and websites is going to be all but impossible... Also separating the clients would be a pain.

          I'm going to have my family lawyer investigate all the possible outcomes, but as far as I'm concerned... The business is mine, 99% of it...

          I'll happily give him his 1%

          Ya our business was at his house, using BUSINESS money that I worked my ass off the generate. It's not like he was paying bills with personal money, all those costs were covered by the business each month.

          Also "his equipment" is not accurate, I have been using my own desk, computer, and monitors.

          The most equipment he's provided is a stove, which I make lunch on every day.
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          • Profile picture of the author Myles Sinclair
            Originally Posted by chris_duport View Post

            Separating all the networks we're a part of and websites is going to be all but impossible... Also separating the clients would be a pain.
            If it comes to a legal dispute, a Judge will do that for you.

            I'm going to have my family lawyer investigate all the possible outcomes, but as far as I'm concerned... The business is mine, 99% of it...


            I'll happily give him his 1%
            You've gone from wanting 51% to 99%?

            I can tell you're angry Chris, but if you "act in haste....." as the old saying goes. The point is if you can't settle the matter between the two of you, then a court probably will.

            No matter how the business is divided up, if it goes to litigation you will both be financially worse off after paying legal fees. You could probably avoid that by negotiating.
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            • Profile picture of the author chris_duport
              Originally Posted by Myles Sinclair View Post

              If it comes to a legal dispute, a Judge will do that for you.



              You've gone from wanting 51% to 99%?

              I can tell you're angry Chris, but if you "act in haste....." as the old saying goes. The point is if you can't settle the matter between the two of you, then a court probably will.

              No matter how the business is divided up, if it goes to litigation you will both be financially worse off after paying legal fees. You could probably avoid that by negotiating.
              Myles, I understand where you're coming from, but I just can't see a judge deciding to give him a damn thing.

              As far as legal fees go, he's got no money to hire a lawyer... And our business net worth is not a lot, so good luck to him.

              I am going to try to split fairly, but I have a feeling he's going to want more than I'm willing to give.
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  • Profile picture of the author Steve Holmes
    Well.. it sounds like HE made this decision by being so lazy, not you. Try not to feel so guilty about it.

    GL with it all
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  • Profile picture of the author Curt7
    Partnerships rarely work out. Unless each person has something unique to offer a partnership, it's best not to even begin. I've known a few that worked. One was a leaded glass business. She was the artist, and he was the promoter. Then, they got other people to do the work. It was big money, and neither of them worked much.

    One thing I've always found interesting during my years in business, was that I often ran into people who would say something along the lines of "yeah, I used to be in business, but my partner shafted me." During my 40 years in business, I never once had a conversation with the partner that did the shafting. Curious!

    In this case, I do think you are the partner being screwed, and it should end immediately. Just be prepared for the fall out when your partner goes around telling people you shafted him.
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  • Profile picture of the author E. Brian Rose
    Your partner may be all of the things that you claim him to be and more, but that doesn't mean that he can't sue you if you try and separate from him. There doesn't have to be a written agreement in place. A verbal contract is binding.

    I am not saying you are right or he is right. What I am saying is that there is the possibility that he would not leave without a fight. You can't fire a partner. You can only dissolve the partnership and in doing so, he may make claims to some of the assets or earnings.
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    • Profile picture of the author chris_duport
      Originally Posted by E. Brian Rose View Post

      Your partner may be all of the things that you claim him to be and more, but that doesn't mean that he can't sue you if you try and separate from him. There doesn't have to be a written agreement in place. A verbal contract is binding.

      I am not saying you are right or he is right. What I am saying is that there is the possibility that he would not leave without a fight. You can't fire a partner. You can only dissolve the partnership and in doing so, he may make claims to some of the assets or earnings.
      Sue me for what? Firing his lazy ass? There is no verbal agreement to 50%. At least nothing that would hold up in a court of law.

      I also could and should document times when he's not working... But my logs would be full every day if I did that.
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  • Profile picture of the author COBSolutions
    It is better to pay double wages and have an employee who is more productive than sharing the spoils with a partner who is more of a nuisance, though i have never experienced it but i understand as in my case even my own employees irritate me on daily basis so an off the hook partner can be sad, to say the least.
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  • Profile picture of the author jwm2
    This is the main reason i've never given a partnership a second thought. I understand for most folks going at it with a partner is alittle easier as it gives them more comfort in their decision to go into business for themselves, but this is more often times than not the outcome. One partner does most of the work, the other does little if anything at all. You need to find a way out, maybe try talking to him and see if he'll step up his game, otherwise let him know that you will be gone and you are taking your business with you. In the meantime start up your own business in your spare time and then make sure to take the client list or a copy of it. Then if you need to cut him loose you can dissolve that business and continue on with your own. Chances are you can make a copy of the client list without him even knowing and then once you do go on your own he probably won't even bother with trying to keep the old business alive or making one of his own if he is really that lazy.
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  • Profile picture of the author gittar1122
    Yes its better to leave him instead of worrying about 50% share to be paid to him each month.
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  • Profile picture of the author SteveJohnson
    If you don't have a partnership agreement in place, he could very easily do to you the things you're contemplating doing to him - and have just as much right to do so as you do.

    You've already said he materially contributed to the business - do you think the contents of this thread would not end up as evidence in a lawsuit should it come to that?

    If you want to dissolve the partnership, you basically have two choices - walk away and start another business, or decide how much the assets of the business - the clients - are worth and pay him a negotiated percentage of that.

    disclaimer - I am not a lawyer, nor do I play one on a radio show.
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  • Profile picture of the author seo vigor
    You may go ahead with what suits you but think before taking the serious decision
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    • Profile picture of the author vok
      He sounds like a loser. I'd get rid of him ASAP, I wouldn't stand for 5 minutes having someone like that dragging me down.

      If you lose a friend, you lose a friend but you're here to make money not make friends. I know first hand sometimes you lose more of them than you make.
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  • Profile picture of the author Owen Smith
    You need to go down the correct route. Get some legal advice, try and send him a contractual agreement stating he will receive nothing from a certain date.

    This will help your case, but make sure you get everything checked over before you send off the letter or you will be sued.

    Regards
    Owen
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  • Profile picture of the author SeanyG
    Fire him or start your own venture. You have to get out of partnerships that don't work. I was in one that dragged on for 4 years. I wish I would have fired him or myself!
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    • Profile picture of the author Jeff Henshaw
      Chris,

      I think that we all sympathize with your situation.

      BUT we are only receiving your side of the story. Now don't misinterpret my post, because I understand that you have a grievance, but please read on.

      What you have to bear in mind is that in a court of law both sides have the right to put their side of the story and in the cold light of day, when you have to answer questions on oath, it is a different situation to posting your perceptions of an occurrence on a forum.

      Now I'm not a lawyer, but I have studied (non criminal) law for the best part of 25 years on and off, and have worked in a number of 'legal environments'. So I have some substantial experience in certain legal areas (although aspects of law, just like everything else, become out of date and are updated).

      My advice would be, either to come to an arrangement with your partner and dissolve your relationship (ensure that everything recorded in writing and witnessed), or consult your lawyer or attorney and if taking legal action, leave the matter entirely in their hands and try to put the issue out of your mind. You will find that your representative will only contact you when necessary. So you can get on with your life and business, while proceedings progress.

      You are not in a pleasant position, I know, but you need to decide on the course of action that you want to take now.

      I reiterate that I am not giving legal advice, but just my experienced opinion on your issue.

      Best of luck with the course of action that you take.

      Jeff.
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  • Profile picture of the author Kmarshall
    Great thread!
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  • Profile picture of the author chris_duport
    pretty sure my decision has been reached. I'm just going to give him the websites he created and have them transfered to a new server.

    Hard part is going to be the networks / software we have access to. If he agrees to share it, that's cool... But probably not, he'd just eventually change the PWs

    Anyone have advice for this?
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