A business plan forms the backbone for any successful start-up business enterprise. A good business plan should cover:
- The basic goals of the business operation
- How the goals are to be achieved
- A basic start-up budget, factoring in losses and expenses
- The duties and liability of individual leaders and board members
- Division of assets, including business property and stocks
- Preparation in case of business termination
Business plans can cover many other topics and issues- the more thorough the plan, the better.
Business plans are necessary to help get a business up and running. However, they can often be a source of disputes, since many parties may be involved in the planning practice. Some common disputes over business plans may involve:
- Disputes between the Business Operators and local/county/state entities: A common issue with many business plans is that they need to conform to the zoning, planning, and land use laws in the area. Failure to obtain approval from a government agency or a local business bureau can create an obstacle for the business start-up.
- Disputes between Partners: Personal interests can sometimes create disputes over a business plan, especially with regards to duties and liabilities of directors. The partners may have to reach a compromise in order to ensure the business runs smoothly.
- Disputes with Investors: A main goal of many business plans is to attract investors who will contribute capital to the business. These arrangements can often involve disputes over funding such as a breach of contract.
- Disputes involving Shareholder Rights: From the outset, share and dividend disputes can occur even at the planning stage. For example, the distribution of stocks is often a point of contention.
It is normal to experience a certain degree of disputing over the terms of a business plan. In fact, that’s one of the main purposes of having a business plan- to “air out” any differences beforehand, so that they don’t become a problem later on in the long run.
On the other hand, if a business plan dispute becomes prolonged, or starts to delay the business operations, it may be necessary to seek legal assistance. It may be necessary to hire a lawyer to help mediate the conflict. In some cases, a legal claim needs to be filed in court, especially where the dispute is actually causing business losses for other persons involved.
In such cases, the conflict may be subject to court intervention, such as prescribed mediation. Or, the court can order a damages award if losses have already been experienced.
It’s standard practice to hire a business lawyer for help during business planning. Doing so can not only ensure that your business plan will be effective, but it can also help avoid disputes over the business plan. An experienced lawyer in your area will be able to help you arrive at a suitable business plan that conforms to the laws in your region.