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Three Unique Considerations In A Business Partnership Dispute With A Family Member


For business owners who are in a partnership with their own family member, navigating a dispute can be especially challenging. The emotions can run high and there are some unique issues that need to be considered and addressed as part of the process. Here, our Miami partnership dispute attorney highlights three unique considerations in a business partnership dispute between family members.

  1. You Need to Take Extra Care to Preserve Relationships 

While every partnership dispute is different and there are plenty of exceptions, partnership disputes are generally not “win/lose” cases. A win/lose approach can be even more disadvantageous in a dispute involving a family business. The reality is that the parties need to take some extra care to protect the future of their personal relationship. It is easy for a business partnership dispute to get heated. At the same time, a protracted legal dispute with a close family member—parent, child, sibling, in-law, etc.—could cause serious damage to your relationships. Family partnership disputes are often especially well-suited for mediation or other types of non-adversarial negotiation. 

  1. The Reputation of a Family Business Could Be in Jeopardy 

A business has intangible assets. An example, the reputation and brand integrity of a company is an important intangible asset. Many people like the idea of working with a family business. There is culture, value, reputation, and trust associated with the family business identity. A legal dispute with a family business partner can actually cause serious damage to the brand. It is important to consider how the reputation of your partnership as a family business affects its overall value. In developing a strategy to resolve a partnership dispute, it is imperative that you protect the core reputation and brand value of your company. 

  1. Your Personal Finances May Be Connected in a Deeper Way

A final unique challenge facing family business partnership is that the personal finances of the parties may be more deeply connected. All business partners have some sort of financial connection—but it is often more layered and comprehensive for family business partners. As an example, imagine that a father and two of his sons are equal partners in a business. Their personal finances are most likely connected in a number of different ways, including through estate planning and future inheritance. This deeper financial relationship must be carefully considered when determining the best way to resolve a family business dispute. Once again, this issue makes family partnership disputes especially well-suited for a non-adversarial approach such as  business mediation.

Contact Our Southeast Florida Partnership Law Attorney Today

At Pike & Lustig, LLP, our Florida partnership attorney is a skilled and experienced advocate for clients. If you are locked in a partnership dispute with a family member, we are here to help you find the best path forward. Give us a phone call now or contact us online to set up your strictly private case review. We provide partnership law representation throughout Southeastern Florida, including in West Palm Beach, Wellington, Fort Lauderdale, Miami, and Miami Beach.

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