5 Tips for Managing a Business Partnership

 

Congratulations, you’ve started your own company! The ability to become your own boss and take control of your professional and financial future is unique and should not be taken for granted. The inclusion of partners can make the experience more satisfying because you have people sharing a common goal to support and work alongside you as you grow your business.

While added partners can bring added success, it is important, however, to have a detailed partnership agreement in place that sets out the terms of the partnership. Here are a few tips on how to create a professional working relationship that benefits you and your company.

 

1. Keep it professional

The media and entertainment industry often romanticize the relationships between business partners, chronicling best friends or family members’ journey from a two-person startup to a fortune 500 company, all while maintaining a close and fun relationship. While friends and family members can certainly run a successful business together, you do not want to find yourself in a situation where personal issues and emotions make it difficult for you to make business decisions, as separating business from personal matters is often very difficult.

 

If you go into business with a close friend or family member, it is even more important to have a solid partnership agreement.  The agreement will be important and helpful in resolving conflicts, in detailing how the business will be managed, and in allocating profits and losses. It is important to establish boundaries between your personal relationship and working relationship, and having a partnership agreement will help you to do just that.

 

2. Talk it out (beforehand)

While it is not possible to plan for every situation imaginable, business partners can prepare for most circumstances by talking about how they would like to handle certain circumstances and memorializing their plans and agreements into a partnership agreement. You planned for the marriage and the honeymoon- you should also plan for the divorce.  Establish what you will do in case there is sickness, conflict, major life events, opportunities and setbacks. You will want to leave no stone unturned to avoid having to scramble and negotiate for solutions last minute. The partnership agreement should document the outcomes of these conversations and layout an action plan for various scenarios.

 

3. Establish duties for each partner

The partnership agreement should be very clear about roles and responsibilities. You want to reduce the potential for conflict and stress by establishing who will be doing what for the company. For example, the partnership agreement should delegate responsibilities   development, strategy, communications, IT, etc.. Once it is clear who will focus on certain aspects of the business, each partner should adhere to the established boundaries.

 

4. Consult a third party

When serious conflicts arise, you may want to consult a third-party consultant, a mediator or an attorney to bring an unbiased opinion into the mix. The partnership agreement should address when outside resources should be brought in to reduce internal conflict.

 

5. Have an exit strategy

Have a plan in place in the event that a partner wants to leave the company, passes away, or faces life events, such as divorce or bankruptcy, that could  negatively impact the company. Include these provisions in the partnership agreement from the beginning. It is also important to consider what will happen to the business in case of a merger or acquisition, buy out, or simply selling to another entrepreneur. Determine how assets will be liquidated or ownership will be transferred if it becomes necessary to wind down the business.

 

Starting a business or adding a new partner?  The lawyers at Perry, Bundy, Plyler and Long LLP can help draft and negotiate a partnership agreement that benefits both the partners and and the business alike. Give us a call at 704-289-2519 to schedule an appointment with one of our attorneys.

FAQs: Child Custody in North Carolina

 

As parents, you want what’s best for your children and especially so in your post-separation child custody arrangements. Many parents have questions about how they can determine the best outcome for their children to live in a safe, healthy, and loving environment.

 

Here are some of the most frequently asked questions regarding child custody issues in NC:

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What does “Under Contract” mean? A Guide to the Offer to Purchase and Contract

When buying or selling a home, one of the most important documents you will sign is the Offer to Purchase and Contract. This is a legally binding document that details the terms and conditions of the transaction, and also sets a fixed timeline for the closing. Often, the contract is on the bar form contract. Once this agreement is signed by the buyers and sellers, the property is considered “under contract” and the seller agrees to take the property off the market and to no longer receive offers from other prospective buyers.

It is important for both buyers and sellers to understand the content within the agreement before signing. While your real estate agent can fill in the blanks on a bar form contract, it is always a good idea for to consult a real estate attorney prior to entering any contract for the purchase or sale of real property, particularly if either party wishes to include additional terms not part of the bar form contract.
Generally, the Offer to Purchase and Contract will include the following details:

Purchase price

The contract will include final amount agreed upon by the buyer and seller. Occasionally, the buyer and seller can agree on certain contingences that may affect the purchase price, such as the result of inspections, appraisals, and the like. Certain amounts, such as the Earnest Money and the Due Diligence Fee, will often be paid upon signing the Agreement and will be credited to the purchase price to reduce the amount ultimately due at closing.

Due Diligence

The Offer to Purchase and Contract also addresses the due diligence fee and the due diligence period. The due diligence fee is a negotiated amount that the buyer may pay to the seller. The due diligence period is a determined time in which the buyer is to conduct any examination or inspection of the property. Prior to the expiration of the due diligence period, the buyer can terminate the contract for any reason or no reason at all. The due diligence fee is paid directly to the seller, and essentially compensates the seller for taking their home off of the market while the buyer conducts their due diligence. Unless the seller breaches the contact, the seller keeps the due diligence fee in the event that the contract falls through.

Earnest money

The earnest money is a negotiated amount that a buyer pays to an escrow agent upon signing the agreement. The buyer pays the earnest money as a protection to the seller in order to display that the buyer is “in earnest” about purchasing the property. . If the buyer backs out of the contract for any reason, or for no reason at all, during the due diligence period, the escrow agent returns the earnest money to the buyer. If the contract goes through and the buyer does purchase the property, the earnest money is credited to the purchase price to reduce the amount owed by the buyer at closing.

 

Seller Representations

The Offer to Purchase and Contract should also outline the seller’s representations to the buyer. These should include a representation by the seller that he or she owns the property, provide details on any homeowner’s association, make any required disclosures, and warrant that the seller can provide good title and legal access to the property.

Closing Details

The Offer to Purchase and Contract will also set a settlement date.. It may also include details on closing costs, and whether the seller will pay any of the buyer’s closing costs. On the settlement date, all closing documents are signed, all funds are collected from the buyer and the lender, if any. The funds are then disbursed to pay off any encumbrances on the property with the balance going to the seller. Title is transferred to the buyer by recording a deed from the seller to the buyer in the Register of Deeds in the county where the property is located.

Before signing the Offer to Purchase and Contract, or any other contract of the sale or purchase of real property, buyers and sellers must be knowledgeable of the terms and conditions that they are signing. If you need help with a contract to purchase real property, call the lawyers at Perry, Bundy, Plyer and Long at 704-289-2519 today!

How to Divide Property Without Fighting Your Ex

 

It is extremely rare for parties to agree on absolutely everything throughout the divorce process. However, effective advocacy and legal strategy can make the experience easier for everyone involved. Here are a few tips on how to divide property with your spouse:

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5 Tip for Negotiating Spousal Support into Your Divorce Order

 

One of the many challenging aspects of a divorce is determining whether spousal support should be established. Post-separation support and alimony are utilized to help the dependent spouse maintain an accustomed standard of living.

There are a several things to consider when negotiating spousal support. Below are a few issues to keep in mind:

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How Much Does Child Support Cost in North Carolina?

 

 

Congress first passed federal laws establishing child support guidelines in the 1980’s to accomplish three main goals:

  1. financially help children living in a single parent household;
  2. encourage payment of child support and
  3. promote consistent contact between parent and child

Today, many of those same guidelines exist in order to ensure the safety, well-being and financial upbringing of children living in single parent households. As any parent knows, paying for a child’s needs can be an expensive endeavor. While every situation is different, there are some basic principles you can use to estimate how much you should expect to pay in child support:

 

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Monroe Attorney Spotlight: Richard Long

Richard Long, Monroe, NC Attorney

Get to know your local Monroe, NC attorneys at Perry, Bundy, Plyler & Long LLP.

Richard G. Long Jr. is the managing partner with Perry, Bundy, Plyer & Long, joining the firm in 1995.  Mr. Long primarily practices family law, emphasizing mediation, but also practices real estate law, business law and municipal law.

Here is our interview with Richard:

What are your favorite types of cases to take?

Not every matter involving a lawyer is a case.  I handle contract negotiations, real estate matters, wills, etc.  While I enjoy family law cases because people really need our help, I prefer mediating family cases.  Helping spouses reach an agreement that is determined by their own decisions is very satisfying to me.

 

What do you love about living in Union County?

Union County retains much of its rural character despite tremendous growth.

 

Did you always want to be a lawyer?

Actually, as a child, I wanted to be a scientist who studied space.  However, I come from a family of lawyers, so it was natural for me to consider it for my career.

 

What is your favorite place to eat in Monroe?

There are so many restaurants in Monroe  to choose from, however, I enjoy Mexican fare when I can.

 

 

What is your favorite Saturday afternoon activity?

I enjoy working in our yard, then coming in to watch college sports.

 

Where would you love to travel to?

I would like to travel to Canada and take the Trans-continental railroad.

 

Beach or mountains?

Beach.

 

What book are you reading?

Hue- A book about Viet Nam and the Tet offensive.

 

Why should a client work with Perry, Bundy?

Perry, Bundy, Plyler and Long is large enough to handle most legal matters for your family’s needs, yet small enough where you are not just a client, but our friends and neighbors.  We take a personal interest in all of our clients.

 

To schedule a consultation with Richard Long or another Perry, Bundy, Plyler & Long LLP attorney in Monroe, contact us at 704-289-2519 today.

 

How is Alimony Determined in North Carolina?

 

Alimony in North Carolina is payment for the support and maintenance of a spouse after separation and divorce. Alimony is usually paid on a continuing basis for a determined period of time.  Prior to 1995, alimony was fault based. The law, however, was amended to better reflect that marriage is an economic partnership.

Prior to an award of alimony, there are a number of things that must be determined:

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How to Choose the Right Legal Structure for Your New Business

Monroe NC small business owner thinking about incorporating her business

You’ve got a great idea and are ready to start your own business. How exciting!

If you are like many new business owners, you are probably wondering how to legally structure your new business. You have heard about LLCs and corporations, but do you know the difference? Do you know which is the best option for your business?

If not, you need to consider the goals and strategy for your business and your personal finances.

For example, do you want the business to be separate from your personal assets and debts? Do you want to be taxed once at a potentially higher rate or do you want to file separate tax returns for the business? Do you want to take on investors to help grow the company? How much control do you want over the day-to-day operations and strategy?

Your answers to each of these questions will help evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of each option and find the best fit for your business.

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