Hmmm, you can’t work it out yourselves and counseling doesn’t seem to be an appropriate alternative (Freud may have lots to say but who has the time) so what’s the next step? There is no way to know ahead of time what the “dispute” will be about (my personal crystal ball broke ages ago and it’s been impossible to get it fixed – but you might enjoy this one http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2TwGZYnfO3Y). Back to the topic at hand, the best thing to focus on is how you can resolve the dispute, whatever it may be, and keep the business moving ahead. (Remember – if you want a buy-out go to the last installment Universal Issues – Disposition of Interests). Mediation is the most common method for resolving these types of disputes and it is best to spell out the type of mediation in your partnership agreement. So here are a couple of choices: Single Mediator – this involves the appointment of a single person whom both parties have agreed has the authority to resolve the dispute; Mediation Panel – this usually involves each party in the dispute appointing a individual mediator and the two mediators agreeing to a third mediator (necessary of course to make sure the mediators aren’t deadlocked). There are, of course, lots of variables to consider here. Mediation is not without cost (you’ll need to pay the mediators and spend the time necessary to make sure the mediators are aware of all of your issues) and you might not the like the decision of the mediator, but non-binding mediation is a waste of time.
Next installment, Issues Specific To Your Form Of Company, and remember, ALWAYS CONSULT AN ATTORNEY FIRST.