It is important to understand what you are getting yourself into when it comes to starting a business with a partner. When a problem does occur, it’s important to resolve the issue in a swift fashion that does not impact your business in the long term.
So, with that in mind, here are some of the key factors you need to keep in mind when it comes to a partnership dispute and potential criminal wrongdoing involved.
What is Wrongdoing?
Misconduct in a partnership can range across several issues: aggressive behaviour, substance abuse (which is harming professional performance), theft of business opportunities, and serious breaches of the partnership agreement. It becomes criminal wrongdoing in such cases where one partner commits fraud.
Fraudulent behaviour in a business can cover a number of issues; some more mundane than others. One partner could simply take more money than due, fabricate expense reports, or even escalate to creating non-existing clients to funnel money through the business for illegal purposes.
Resolving this dispute should be done quickly to avoid any issues for the business. But, doing so is often easier said than done.
File Criminal Charges
If the criminal misconduct has occurred and you have evidence, then filing charges against the partner may be necessary. Embezzlement and more serious criminal offences are usually necessary to charge, especially if you want to remove your business and yourself from suspicion.
However, if you do not want to file criminal charges then you may be able to take civil action instead. This could mean sitting down with your partner before any formal proceedings in a mediation proceeding. Or, otherwise, your case may not be taken seriously or you may be told to mediate before it will be assessed in court.
Prepare for It
One of the easiest ways to deal with a partnership dispute, criminal or not, is by preparing ahead of time. You may not necessarily be able to predict criminal wrongdoing. And if you could, then you likely would never have entered into the partnership in the first place.
This is where a comprehensive partnership agreement is needed, put together by a corporate solicitor in Manchester who is an expert in mediation and litigation matters. As that way, they can actively work to include issues in the agreement which you may not necessarily think of on your own volition. Having expert dispute resolutions solicitors on your side can ensure that your agreement is penned for the right kind of issues that may arise in your partnership.
At the end of the day, a partnership agreement which is actively preparing for the dissolution of a partnership in any case is the best way forward. As it can help with you even with an issue of criminal wrongdoing. Failing to prepare is preparing to fail, as goes the saying. So, remember to make this a key part of your business in those initial stages.