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Can my business partner force me to sell?

On Behalf of | Aug 16, 2022 | Business Litigation & Disputes |

When you started your business with a partner, you hoped that you would build the company for decades until it was incredibly valuable. But now it’s only been a few years and your business partner wants to sell the company. They think the value has gone up enough to make it worth selling, and they’d rather just get their money out of the investment.

For you, it’s always been bigger than that. You want to keep running this company. It’s not just a financial investment for you. So you tell your partner that you’re not interested in selling. Can they force you to do so if they still want nothing to do with the business?

Check your partnership agreement

The first step is simply to check your partnership agreement or operating agreement that you put in place when you started the company. Most of the time, business partners will set up a way for one person to exit the company, and then you just follow the protocols that are in place.

Buy out their share

Another potential option is to buy your partner’s share of the business. They still get the money that they wanted out of the company, and you take over full ownership. The hurdle here is that it can be very expensive.

Go to court

Finally, you can always go to court and ask a judge to rule on what should happen with the business. This is perhaps not ideal in all situations because you’d rather work directly with your partner rather than go to court. However, if you don’t have a partnership agreement and it’s too expensive to buy your partner’s share out, you may have no other choice.

We help business owners who are dealing with partnership disputes. Contact us for a consultation.