Disputes among co-owners in a closely-held business can arise over a number of issues, such as day-to-day control, compensation, or access to information. Left unresolved, these arguments can fester and eventually destroy the business.
Not only are small business co-owners like a family– they are likely to be members of an actual family. While we know that family-owned small businesses tend to weather management storms better than businesses which lack that link, family dysfunctions can seep into management of the business.
Co-owner mediations can seem more like divorce negotiations than business disputes. A mediator can calm parties’ anger, help resolve the current dispute, and create a plan to manage future disagreements so the business survives.
When you are in the middle of a co-owner dispute maelstrom, call me to discuss whether mediation can help. It’s free and completely private under California’s strict mediation confidentiality laws.