Sometimes people come together with each party putting their own money in; other times there is a single main funder as part of the team, with the others contributing expertise, time, office space or specialist equipment. As they each come together from their various perspectives, the key is to get everything talked through well in advance, then documented in simple clear language. For example, how many people are needed to make decision? How does a party leave and at what price? What happens if someone breaks the trust and commitment they had agreed to? How are profits paid out, or losses paid for, and what is the agreed upside to selling the business?
As people come together, that is the time to do this hard work. It is a time when parties may be expected to feel positive and energised about working together and will happily work through all possible scenarios.
Human nature is such that people often fall out or have different misunderstandings over the intervening months and years. The situation may be compounded by the pressures of a business running into trouble. As a result, we find there can be so much emotional energy needlessly expended if parties do not have a clear track on what they agreed. If on the other hand everyone has agreed and documented some clear dispute resolution signposts, we can try to help parties to resolve issues and move forward, or perhaps even help to unravel the parties from each other as painlessly as possible.
We can talk you through what you need to think about, give you time to think and come back to us, then send you off with a concise document.