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Can you force a business partner to sell?

On Behalf of | Nov 14, 2022 | Business Law |

Even if you have a brilliant idea for a product or service, you undoubtedly recognize how difficult it can be to be in business by yourself. For that reason, many entrepreneurs choose to work with business partners. In fact, according to the Tax Foundation, there are about 2.2 million business partnerships in the U.S.

Your business partnership might not work out quite like you expect, however. If you have an ineffective or toxic business partner, you may want to replace the person as quickly as possible. You even may have found another partner to purchase your existing partner’s ownership interest. Can you force your business partner to sell, though?

Your agreements

You probably have both partnership and operating agreements. If so, you should read through your agreements to see whether you can force your partner to sell. Indeed, one of these agreements may have a buy-sell provision that kicks in when a triggering event occurs. If not, it may be possible to negotiate a separate buy-sell contract with your partner.

Your relationship

If your agreements are silent on the matter, you may have to rely on your personal relationship with your business partner. That is, you might have to convince your partner that selling is in his or her interests. If that does not work, you may have the option of ending the partnership and forming another one. Again, your existing agreements are likely to describe a process for wrapping up your partnership.

Ultimately, regardless of whether you can force your partner to sell, you should explore all available options for making your venture a success.