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Negotiating partnership terms question

September 19, 2012


Question:

Jennifer,

A few years ago my partner and I agreed I would be eligible to by a larger interest in our practice this year.  My partner has told me recently that he is not in a position to take less money out and that the offer may not stand.  What should I do?

Thanks,
Dr. F

Answer:

Well, I definitely need much more information.  Was this arrangement documented in writing?  Was an attorney involved in the initial transfer?  Have you documented revenue increase in the practice attributable to your services?  Are you in a position to move your portion of the practice if an amicable resolution cannot be met?  Without knowing these answers I can't advise on your particular arrangement, however, I will offer the following general comments.  A partnership is essentially a marriage, and something that must be entered into willingly by both sides. It is also a relationship that has to be nurtured and maintained with transparency and trust.  This arrangement will also not work if you are not happy with the terms you currently have and your partner is unwilling to meet previously agreed-upon terms.  My initial advice, have a sit-down with your partner and relay your thought process. Once you are both on the same page - that you want to make the arrangement work - we can then discuss how to structure and paper the arrangement.


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