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Is my business partner too controlling? What can I do?

On Behalf of | Oct 30, 2023 | Small Business |

Business partnerships, just like romantic partners, are ideally founded on mutual respect, communication and trust to thrive. And just like romantic relationships, it’s not uncommon for a business partnership to eventually turn sour.

A manipulative business partner can be your worst nightmare. So, what do you do if your business partner becomes too controlling? If you fail to notice a partner’s damaging and controlling behavior, your business and personal interests will be in danger. These are some of the “red flags” that you should look out for if you believe your business partner is too controlling.

They are playing the blame game

When the business is thriving, every partner will naturally want to associate with the successes and take credit for everything. When a business is hit by hard times, on the other hand, all partners should own up to the losses. A manipulative partner, however, is usually quick to claim credit for successes and blame others for the failures. If your business partner is too quick to point fingers at you or other partners for the business’ shortcomings, then you need to be concerned.

They enjoy intimidating others

A partner who routinely talks down, threatens or undermines others can be difficult to work with. If your partner is constantly intimidating you or other partners, you need to review your options under your partnership agreement.

Dealing with a manipulative business partner

If your business partner is making life difficult for you, then you need to take steps to assert your rights and protect your interests. First, you need to document your interactions with the partner in question. Keep a detailed record of the specific incidents of manipulation. Next, set clear boundaries. This could involve coming up with more acceptable communication mechanisms.

Protecting your rights

If your business partner’s conduct is impacting the business’ day-to-day operations as well as your personal well-being, you need to protect your interests. Understanding Georgia’s business formation and partnership laws can help you protect your rights and interests when dealing with a controlling partner. Seeking legal guidance can help you to seek a reasonable solution that protects your rights and interests.