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Partnership Question- Advice needed

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Port City Lawncare, Oct 16, 2003.

  1. Port City Lawncare

    Port City Lawncare LawnSite Member
    from Alabama
    Messages: 75

    My best friend and I bought a business from someone this year. We've done extremely well considering we didn't get into the business until late July. We started w/24 accts, we now have over 40.

    Here's a small bit of background info for everyone before you reply. I'm unclear as to whether or not these reasons should be taken into account before the split.

    1) I brought him into the business w/out ANY experience. (i've been in the business for nearly 7 years)

    2) The only real thing he's contributed has been setting the accounting software up to bill our customers - they still wait until we come to pay (another $200 wasted)

    3) I have to do all of the talking- bidding, etc---all of the talking

    I agree w/him that we'd make more money as independents, but I can't help but feel used. I feel confident I can make the business work, but I feel he owes me something for teaching him the tips and tricks of the trade. Am I completely off base here? If so, will someone get my mind on the task at hand and give me some good advice.
  2. mtdman

    mtdman LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,143

    Do you have a partnership agreement that details how to split? Do you know what he wants to split up? Will he just leave if you buy him out, or does he want some of the equipment and customers? More info needed.

    When my partner quit, I got lucky, he just quit and wanted nothing for his half of the business. But I was always the one putting in more work into the business, and really made the whole thing work. He was more like a laborer than a full partner. I always felt like I was more invested in the business than him.
  3. heybruck34

    heybruck34 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 300

    How have you split everything to date? Without a partnership agreement I think the law is going to look at the "silent" agreement between you two. If you split things 50/50 then it would seem to me that he is a 50% partner.

    Good luck. I think your best bet is to sit him down and discuss this with him. Make him an offer of what you think he will accept IMMEDIATELY and take with him right then. Have an agreement drawn up where he relinquishes all rights to future income, capital and management and in consideration receives payment of XX now.

    Better yet- go talk to a lawyer.
  4. Port City Lawncare

    Port City Lawncare LawnSite Member
    from Alabama
    Messages: 75

    We're trying to settle this w/out lawyers. We're not mad w/ each other, and we're both staying in the business, only w/out each other. Is it as simple as sitting down, dividing it all and walking away with friendship still in tact?
  5. WeatherMan

    WeatherMan LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 692

    I try that way first
  6. Flat Top Lawn

    Flat Top Lawn LawnSite Member
    Messages: 44

    Partners means together, If you split then he should get his half. Here is the math. 2-1=1 not 1.5 or even 1.25. You knew his exper. before you started.
  7. STAN1366

    STAN1366 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 334

    You may have taught him the "tricks & tips', but HE taught you that you don't need a partner. If you did all the talking, bidding, etc., then come up with a reasonable split of equipment & accounts. No money need change hands here. Have a "gentlemen's agreement" that if it doesn't work out for either of you that you'll consult the other one before selling the accounts/equipment that you now each own. Down the road you might wind up owning his 1/2 of the business when he can't "talk" to his customers. Good luck.
  8. Rustic Goat

    Rustic Goat LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,194

    Isn't hindsight wonderful?:)

    First you say the two of you bought a business.

    Then you say you brought him into the business.

    You say all he's done was set up acct software.

    You didn't say anything about who's been doing the lawn servicing.

    You didn't say anything about being at each others throats or on peaceful terms.

    Don't mean this as insulting, but we're only able to read YOUR side of the story here.

    The reading of your post seems to have conflicting statements in it. Strongly suggest the two of you should have an appointed meeting, where you will not be disturbed, where you will not be drinking alcohol, you need clear level thinking and calm emotions.

    TALK the whole subject out, write down main points. Rewrite after meeting has ended and agreement has been reached, both of you take to a Notary.
  9. Turf Pro Lawn Care

    Turf Pro Lawn Care LawnSite Member
    Messages: 26

    My partner and I are splitting up right now also. I started the Company and financed the entire thing. I brought him in as a partner with him putting nothing in. I needed someone to do more lawn service than I was able to do. I have a full time Telecom job also. He has brought in about 6 small accounts. We have 22 accounts total. We had a Partnership agreement that I drafted up. It did not have an exit clause in it. We sat down and discussed what we both wanted as we separate. I am moving out of state so I wanted my equipment. I bought it,,,,,, but for him to stay in business he needs equipment too. So we found a used Toro 36" w/b and he bought a new 54" viper Z, I will be letting him have a weed eater, a blower, and edger and some other small tools. I will be helping him widen a trailer that he has to fit the equipment onto. Now,,, he will pay me $500.00 a month for the next 4 months. This will pay me back a little on the equipment I gave him and give me a warm and fuzzy feeling. It leaves him making plenty of money and me with a little cash to help replace the spares I gave him. You need to sit down and both discuss what you want and work on it from there. You have to be fair especially if you want to remain friends. It does not matter who put more into what once you become partners you are equal, both parties must leave feeling the same.

  10. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,872

    Partnerships are always like enemas. You might as well just bend over and get it over with ASAP then forget it ever happened and get on with your life.

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