“Exit strategies should be a part of any business plan and founders should create agreements about what will happen in this case before getting too far into doing business together,” explains Crystal Stranger, president of 1st Tax and author of The Small Business Tax Guide. “Sit down as early as possible to divide up assets and clients, or come to an agreement for financial compensation for the partner who will leave. Generally, the longer this process takes, the more unpleasant this is. If handled quickly, then usually a beneficial arrangement for all can be found.”
But no matter how smoothly a breakup is handled, it can still affect clients and customers. You will need to reassure them.
“It is a good idea to contact clients and tell them that changes to the business structure will be coming soon, but stay positive and don’t say anything bad about your partner,” advises Stranger. “This is important because I have seen too many times where one partner decides to backstab the other by contacting all clients and trying to get them to leave with that partner. Notifying them first puts you in a good light and they are likely to let you know if the other partner starts stirring up drama. In the long run, the partner who keeps their cool and acts professionally always ends up ahead. From experience, around 70 percent of the clients that leave with the aggravating partner have come back to the stable business partner after a period of several months.”
Please view the full article by Ann Brown at: http://www.tnj.com/small-business/how-to/how-to-handle-business-breakup