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Staying afloat after the loss of a beloved partner

A business partnership can become like family, and you may feel your partner is more like a sibling. Even if you and your partner went through rough patches, the success of your South Carolina business is a testament to your compatibility and respect for one another. This is why the sudden loss of your partner may be a devastating blow to you, both personally and professionally.

You may feel the urge to step aside for a while and allow yourself to grieve the loss of your friend. However, you may honor your partner better by not allowing the tragedy to jeopardize the success the two of you built together.

Taking care of business

There is no doubt that your employees learned from watching the relationship you had with your partner. Certainly, they mirrored the appreciation you demonstrated, and they are likely to mourn the loss almost as much as you. Because of this, you may have to be sensitive to those who have difficulty working following the tragedy.

Some other issues you will have to consider include the fate of the business. Hopefully, you and your partner established a succession plan or a partnership agreement that outlined what would happen if one partner should pass away. These plans may include the answers to questions such as:

  • Will a partner's death mean liquidating the business?
  • Is there someone in line to take over as partner?
  • Are you able to purchase your partner's share from his or her heirs?
  • Are there insurance policies in place to keep your investors happy?

While these questions may not need your consideration immediately, it is important to know that you will have to address them before too much time passes.

You may find this a good time to trust your employees to take over some of the work of running the business. The loss of your partner may leave a gap in the completion of some vital tasks, depending on how the two of you divided responsibilities in the company. It may take several employees to do the work your partner accomplished, but your trust in them may strengthen your team at a time when you need it most.

Reaching out

Contacting your vendors and clients will be one important task you can delegate to your staff. They may compose a letter to send to those who have an interest in the company. Perhaps the media will also take notice of your partner's passing.

While the time for planning for such a sorrowful event may be long past, there may be elements of your business that need protection even more with the loss of your partner. Consulting with an attorney will certainly provide you with answers about how to plan for the future success of your company.

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