Ideally, you and your business partner will stay working together for many years — perhaps even decades. You’ll have the same vision for when to end the partnership or sell the company, as you both move to retire.
But what if things don’t play out that smoothly? Say your partner wants to be done with the company and you’re not ready to retire yet. Can they force you to sell?
The court may need to decide what happens
In some cases, people can be forced to sell, but usually not by a business partner directly. This happens if the two can’t come to an agreement, the case winds up in court, and the court orders the sale.
Generally, though, this is seen as something of a last resort. There are many other options. For instance, your partner could just sell their share to a third party. They get their money out and you get a brand new business partner to work with.
Another option is for your partner to take on a different role. Maybe they don’t want to work 40+ hours a week anymore, but they’re willing to sell you half of their share and work with you in a reduced role.
Speaking of selling to you, they may also sell you the entire share and allow you to buy them out. This, of course, is only possible if you have the cash on hand or are able to get a loan for half of the value of your own company.
What are your legal options?
When business partners disagree, especially with this much money on the line, it is very important for everyone to know what legal options they have. It’s smart to speak with an attorney as soon as possible about your situation.