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Common Disputes Among Business Owners in Georgia

Business owners can come face to face with a wide range of external threats that can harm their companies, such as economic conditions, natural disasters and even government regulations. But problems don’t always come from the outside. Internal disputes among co-owners and/or executives and managers can cripple a business. It’s important for business partners to know how to recognize potential sources of trouble and resolve things as early as possible.

Our law firm has helped business owners throughout the Greater Atlanta area who have faced different forms of adversity, including:

  • Differing views on how much control each partner should have
  • Owners acting in ways that contradict the company’s founding documents
  • Partners, owners or managers inappropriately charging expenses to the company
  • Disagreements over mergers or acquisitions
  • Arguments over profit sharing
  • Inability to agree on the strategic direction the company should take
  • Real or perceived differences in workload
  • Contingency and succession planning problems
  • Disputes about compensation
  • Difficulty reaching terms on buying out an owner who leaves or is ousted

Internal disputes like these can jeopardize the profitability and future of the company and therefore the jobs of its employees. With so much on the line, it is critical to try to find a resolution that allows everyone to move forward in a positive way.

When facing a dispute, first examine the company’s bylaws, shareholder agreement, LLC operating agreement or partnership agreement. These documents, if they were carefully written, should include procedures spelling out different ways of handling conflicts among owners. These documents can be a great help in guiding the owners toward a positive resolution.

If there are no written agreements in force, then the relationships between all parties become crucial. Whether in or out of court, you can expect to have certain aspects of your business relationships examined, including:

  • How the partners historically made decisions when they were getting along
  • How tax obligations are handled and by whom
  • The prior behaviors and actions of each partner
  • The history of profit sharing among the partners

Out-of-court resolution methods like mediation and negotiation can be very effective. The alternative — litigation — is expensive and contentious. Resorting to litigation is usually advisable only after other options have been explored. Once you enter the adversarial environment of the courtroom, you run the risk that relationships will be damaged and the company’s solvency may be threatened.

The Reddy Law Firm in Suwannee helps Georgia business owners resolve disputes as cost-effectively as possible. Call our office at 678-629-3246 or contact us online to schedule a free and confidential initial consultation.

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  • Alpharetta Office
    11175 Cicero Drive
    Suite 100
    Alpharetta, Georgia 30022
    Phone: 678-629-3246
    Fax: 678-629-3247