To avoid dispute in the event of a relationship problem it is always advisable to ensure you have from the outset fully considered and understand the structure of your business, each party’s involvement, responsibilities, duties and interests.

The starting point within any dispute is to consider the terms of a Partnership Deed or to look at the provisions within a Shareholder's Agreement. Unfortunately, family businesses often neglect to have such documents in place and in particular, do not consider fully what might happen should the personal relationship of the business owners fail. This then leaves the parties at the mercy of the family court.

When discussing your business advice should be taken from your corporate and family solicitor to ensure your family circumstances are fully considered and practical solutions can be offered should the relationship not work. This advice should be combined with financial and taxation advice. The corporate and family teams at Howes Percival work closely together in advising family businesses to ensure these issues are properly addressed.