Planning for the end of a partnership
Today I facilitated a meeting between two dentists who are considering a business partnership.
My opening comment was:
“Have you agreed what the actions will be in the event of the 3D’s?”
Of course, that produced a couple of quizzical looks and a request for an explanation.
So what are the 3D’s?
It’s all well and good getting excited about the business opportunity – and I’m not trying to be cynical BUT
I have witnessed the wars that can occur when the 3D’s are not addressed – lawyers get rich.
Death – do you really want to be in business with your deceased partners, ex-wife’s next husband?
Disability – I recall many years ago, two happy fellows in business together, until one of them fell off a cliff whilst fell walking and became a paraplegic. All well and good until the “survivor” ended up in business with an embittered wife whose glamorous lifestyle had become that of a full-time carer.
Differences – you are not “the same”. You are simple treading the same pathway for a short while – but inexorably, the differences between you will manifest themselves. You WILL drift apart.
I’m not in favour of complex legal drafts.
I am in favour of a simple exchange of letters that witnesses the steps to be taken if, God forbid, any of the 3D’s occur.
When that’s done – we can get on with the exciting bit.
Which is what we did.