Partnerships can succeed or fail. The saying that two heads are better than one doesn’t always apply in business Partnerships or maybe it does depending on the individual you choose to bring on board.
Several factors can lead to business partnership failure. There are risks involved in every business venture, regardless of entity. This is why you must do your research and ensure you have a solid legal backing.
It is advisable to go into partnership with the necessary legal advice which can be further explored when you suspect your partner of stealing. If you make a mistake in your accusation, you could put your business future at risk so having experienced legal professional advice to guide you through the investigation process and resulting legal action, is highly recommended.
Here are signs your business partner may be stealing from you:
1. You are being denied full access to company information.
This is a huge warning sign. If you have 50 percent ownership of a company, you should have full access to all company information. If your partner is preventing you from seeing even a portion of this information, it is likely that he or she is hiding something. If your partner believes that there is information that you may misinterpret because you lack the expertise to evaluate it properly, this is still no excuse to withhold the information from you. Your business partner can take the time to explain confusing aspects of the business that you don’t understand.
2. There are no clear answers to your questions.
Your partner is likely to have a certain skill set that is different than yours, and when your questions relate to an area that is outside of your expertise, your partner may dismiss them with a simple response, because it would take too long to give a detailed response to someone who is not an expert like your partner. In some cases, you may be a silent partner or own half the shares of a company, and your partnership is only that of an investor, so you are not involved in the day to day operation of the business.
3. Excess expenses. If your business partner is suddenly charging a lot of personal expenses to the company, this is a problem. You should have a clear agreement with your partner about what types of expenditures go on the company account.
4. Sudden and unexplained changes in income. If your sales suddenly drop dramatically without justification, this could be a sign your partner is pocketing money or not reporting all transactions.
The best way to tell if your business partner is stealing is to ensure that detailed accounting records are kept, book-keeping, and to monitor the books. Every transaction should be documented. By monitoring money coming in and going out, you can quickly notice if something is unusual in a way that could suggest your business partner is stealing from you or the business.
When you plan and craft your partnership agreement to include guidelines for different situations, this can also help check to understand where your business partner is failing.