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Business Owners – Breaking up in business

Date posted: 5th Feb 2020

Sometimes things don’t work out in business and it’s time for the business owners to go their separate ways.

It’s fair to say that business relationships usually begin with enthusiasm and passion, grow through balance and communication and endure the highs and lows of life. Sometimes, however, businesses don’t weather the storm and things come to an end. As such, it is important to have a plan.

In business, having clear agreements around how the partners can exit the business is acknowledged as good practice. As such, it is important to have this conversation at the beginning a of a business partnership and document it.

When selling or exiting a business, it’s important to remain professional. You might feel disappointed over a failing business partnership but angry or emotional communications won’t help the process. Take your time, remain calm and if you find yourself drafting a sharp-toned email, save it to your drafts and review it again the next day before deciding whether or not to send it.

Always seek professional guidance – there are lots of financial and legal experts in the market who have considerable expertise in this area and who can help you to successfully exit your business.

When the time comes, you need to have a good understanding of your firm, its financials, any outstanding issues, etc. If you and your business partner/owner(s) decide to sell the firm to another company, the buyer will be keen to download your knowledge of the business. If you can explain things in detail to the potential new owners, it will help to build their confidence in the deal and could positively affect how much value they assign to the purchase.

Financial issues and long-term partnership agreements can complicate matters. However, you should aim to exit your business in a way that is mutually beneficial and satisfactory for everyone involved.

If any of the updates in this article raise any issues for your or your business, please contact our Tax team.


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