When you go into business with a partner, you do so with the idea that it will benefit the both of you. You also do so with the idea that you’ll always get along, or at the very least be able to manage any disputes that come your way.

Unfortunately, you could face a serious dispute with a business partner, which puts both of you at risk. While you hope that you’re able to eventually work things out, you must know your options if things get worse in the days, weeks and months to come.

Here’s what you should do if you’re experiencing this type of conflict at work:

·      Review your operating agreement: This is where you’ll find more information on the responsibilities of both partners, along with language on how to handle disputes. As a legally binding contract, this is the best place to start your search for a resolution.

·      Talk it out: Even if you’re at odds and finding it difficult to communicate, you should always be open to talking things out with your business partner. If you both go quiet, attempting to sweep the issue under the rug, it’s likely to cause more harm than good over the long run.

·      Don’t make matters worse: For example, you may decide to make unilateral decisions, realizing that it’s the only way to get what you want. But if you do this, you could breach your contract, thus bringing more trouble to your situation.

·      Get help: If all else fails, seek outside help. For example, a mediator can help you talk things out, settle on key issues and eventually land on a solution that’s mutually beneficial. Don’t shy away from bringing in outside help. This is often the best way to make progress.

Some conflicts are more serious than others, but anything that comes to light requires your full attention. Don’t assume that the issue will resolve on its own. Ignoring it can cause eventually cause more trouble.

Understanding the finer details of the conflict will help you take the right approach, all while protecting your legal rights along the way.