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Advice for quitting a partnership

A friend and I joined in a partership a few weeks ago, and at the time everything seemed great. The partner and I are from different countries. Last night I found out a few things about him from none other than his own wife, and I have decided I do not want to be parters anymore.

How should I go about telling him? I can't tell him about what I have learned from his wife as I promised her I would keep it secret, and I don't want to cause problems between them. He'll probably be hurt that I am quitting, but that's really not my problem.

My problem is in what to say. When I say I quit he'll ask why, and I don't know what to say to justify my behavior.

Any advice?

Polkadot-phil
Wednesday, June 30, 2004

Why do you trust his wife to tell you the truth?

Devon Lanchester
Wednesday, June 30, 2004

I don't know either of them very well, and I was probably foolish for joining the partnership without getting to know him better. It seems I know a lot more about software development than him, and I am also a lot more passionate and motivated. At first I didn't trust her at all, as she was going behind his back to tell me this, but after hearing her out everything she said is true. She said he's not motivate, and after spending a few weeks working with him it's apparent he's really not.

Polkadot-phil
Wednesday, June 30, 2004

Oh, so the big secret she let you in on was that he's lazy?

Yeah you should have gotten to know him better before formming a partnership, Don't tell me, you are fresh out of school and he affered to share %50 of the net profits with you in return for you doing all the work?

Is there a contract you have signed with him, or partnership papers? what assets are in the name of the company? They will have to be split up during the dissolution if you are incorporated.

Devon Lanchester
Wednesday, June 30, 2004

>> Oh, so the big secret she let you in on was that he's lazy?

Thats about it.

>> Yeah you should have gotten to know him better before formming a partnership, Don't tell me, you are fresh out of school and he affered to share %50 of the net profits with you in return for you doing all the work?

Close, still in school.

>> Is there a contract you have signed with him, or partnership papers? what assets are in the name of the company? They will have to be split up during the dissolution if you are incorporated.

We had a partnership agreement written up but fortunately we haven't signed it (haven't had time to post it).

There doesn't seem to be any problem with splitting up, except for what I am going to tell him.

Polkadot-phil
Wednesday, June 30, 2004

If you haven't signed anything, then I would think all you need to do is don't sign anything and don't do any work in the name of the partnership....

I don't see the big issue. Just say "I changed my mind and won't be signing the papers."

Chris
Wednesday, June 30, 2004

I agree.

Devon Lanchester
Wednesday, June 30, 2004

Alternatively, you could just tell him that it sounded good but on further reflection you realize you need a steady income of at least $4500 as compensation for your work because you have certain monthly expenses that don't pay themselves. Since the job does not offer that, you have decided to focus your time on finding opportunities that provide a more concrete return on your labor investment.

Or something like that! ;-)

Devon Lanchester
Wednesday, June 30, 2004

And then there is the health care and 401k packages and other benefits that you are looking for...

I bet he's expecting you to use your own computer too and for you to pay for any tools you need out of your own pocket.

It's another topic, but these are never good deals. Serious people put serious money into business partnerships they want to succeed. If you are doing the development, your partner should have at least scrounged up enough money to pay all your living and development expenses. Preferable a lot mor ethat that of course. Otherwise, why not just keep 100% of the business to your self.

Devon Lanchester
Wednesday, June 30, 2004

absolutely never ever be a partnership.  Limited is far superior.

I know a guy whose job it is to chase unpaid tax.  He finds all partnerships seem to contain one guy who run away with the money and another poor sod left with the debts.  As he can find the poor sod so easily.. guess who pays all the tax?

i like i
Wednesday, June 30, 2004

Aside from making a mistake for not prior checking if you and your business partner can work together (e.g. doing a small project), I'm bugged by something else: Why is his wife telling you he's lazy?

And, be honest to him. Talk to him about what you've heard from his wife! Tell him why you're concerned.

PS - I wouldn't play those expenses games.

NNL
Wednesday, June 30, 2004

I don't think I'll ever enter a partnership again, from now on I'll fly solo.

I will not say anything to him about his wife simply because I gave my word not to, even though it would make things easier for me. I liked Devon's idea about the income thing, that would be the best way and no one will be hurt... but it might not be believable as I'm only 18 and still living at home and I already work part time. But it's worth a shot!

Thanks guys, you're legends!

Polkadot-phil
Wednesday, June 30, 2004

Tell him to stuff it.

Then sleep with his wife.  Clearly she's looking for a real man who is Smart & Gets Things Done.

Mr Fancypants
Wednesday, June 30, 2004

Hahaha,

You haven't seen her...

Polkadot-phil
Wednesday, June 30, 2004

Polkadot, if you were so inexperienced as to misjudge your partner, what makes you think you understand the wife's motivations clearly?

Maybe the guy is really, really motivated, and the wife doesn't him to be too busy. So she rats on him behind his back.

The poor guy probably wonders why none of his business deals ever get going.

.
Wednesday, June 30, 2004

You don't even have to justify your living expenses, for crying out loud - because you don't work for nothing!

Honestly, I wish I had known this when I was in my early twenties being gulled into thinking I had a career in the performing arts. I bet this guy can produce all kinds of reasons on all kinds of levels why you should work for nothing. Or else he'll try the "hey, nobody who works for me EVER does anything for nothing" as he generously sacrifices to buy you an egg sandwich.

You know what us old fogeys say: "I wish I was 18 knowing what I know now". Well, you're 18. Here's your opportunity to know what I know now.

Kid, work for nothing and the joke will ALWAYS be on you.

Fernanda Stickpot
Wednesday, June 30, 2004

If you want to be a businessman, now's your chance to be a man. If you believe he's trying to screw you, tell him the deal is off and walk away. You're not losing a friend if that's what he was trying to do, he's trying to con you. So why would you care if his feelings are hurt? 

And he has a skanky wife who's going around behind his back breaking up his business deals? He has bigger problems than you leaving...

Anony Coward
Wednesday, June 30, 2004

Just told him I don't want to be partners anymore, thanks guys. I just said straight out the deals off and I don't want to be a part of it anymore. He took it like a man which was good.

Thanks guys!

And from now on, I fly solo!

Polkadot-phil
Wednesday, June 30, 2004


Well, firstly, just tell the guy it isn't going to work out. If you've only known him for a short time, then you don't owe him any explanation.

Secondly, I'd advise anyone to give *serious* thought before ever going into a partnership. Most partnerships simply don't work out.

I made that mistake with my first business, and that was with someone I knew really well. However, you never really know someone until you either marry them, or go into business with them.

Mark Hoffman
Wednesday, June 30, 2004

Shit in an envelope, send it back to him. He should get the message.

Or, if you one of those boring no-hopers who insist on polite and reasonable solutions to problems say "while I was intially interested in your partnership, with some thought I've decided that at this time I'd rather concentrate on my schoolwork that commit myself to this product and I don't feel I would be able to do it justice were I to join. I wish you luck in finding a new partner in the project and hope that it becomes the success we both know it could be."

Mr Jack
Wednesday, June 30, 2004

Whether its true or not what she said, the guy's wife is either no good or he himself is very abusive. If the former, then this is a perfect example of how a good or bad woman makes or breaks the man and explains why the  guys with the good women for wives seem to get all the contracts -- the wives are supporting their work on the social front, which is extremely useful, especially if you are a tech type that lacks at shmoozing skills. In any case, you don't want to do business with him even if he is good because if he is and his wife is the one who is lying then she is poison and will sabotage your business somehow and everything will turn into a weird drama.

Your mileage may vary, I don't know these people and am only speaking from eneralities here. You may even have misinterpreted her.

Realize that any advise given on a bulletin board is going to assume that everyhing you say is exactly the way it went down and there were no subtleties.

That is of course never the case.

Dennis Atkins
Wednesday, June 30, 2004

Are you sure this was his wife, and not his ex-wife?

Kyralessa
Wednesday, June 30, 2004

His wife said he was lazy? If you did a poll in the US, I bet more than 50% of wives would say their husbands are lazy.

Sheese.

MilesArcher
Wednesday, June 30, 2004

Why are the other 50% lying?

Just me (Sir to you)
Thursday, July 01, 2004

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