How to proceed in ending a partnership?


My "business" partner who mainly did nothing for 5 months on the business end is finally deciding to depart the business. I am still going to continue developing the business and the product. How do we proceed in ending the partnership?

I am now seeking a business person. What kind of traits should techies look for in a business co-founder? I need someone who is good with marketing and sales type stuff.

I realize I could probably do this all myself, but it would be overkill.


asked Jan 3 '12 at 13:15
8 points
  • Can you please explain the legal situation with the business? What corporate structure is it? Has intellectual property been properly assigned? Have any shares been issued to any of the founders? Etc. – Dnbrv 12 years ago
  • We haven't signed a single document. My cofounder basically has stated he will have no involvement in the forming of this startup anymore. – Bojo 12 years ago
  • In that case, wait until some VCs, serial entrepreneurs, or lawyers respond here. You have a complicated situation. – Dnbrv 12 years ago
  • Start a new company/entity and pay him some nominal fee in return for him signing a document that waives his claim/right to the IP/company/etc. – Tim J 12 years ago

1 Answer


I would recommend that you get something in writing stating that you own all the software you wrote. You don't want to go on an make a million dollars and have him show up in five years and claim half.

Remember the Winklevoss brothers (Tyler & Cameron ) from the Facebook movie, The Social Network?

answered Jan 3 '12 at 14:43
Jonny Boats
4,848 points
  • I have in written emails that he himself admits to doing next to nothing other than providing the initial, very rough idea. – Bojo 12 years ago
  • What happens if he refuses to actually sign anything and still wants equity, despite doing nothing and indefinitely removing himself from the startup and idea? – Bojo 12 years ago
  • Bojo: You say the idea is his, and you intend to use his idea. If you don't reach an agreement and go on to make lots of money he could easily claim that he is entitled to part of it since you used his idea. The best solution is to either get some settlement now or don't use his idea. – Jonny Boats 12 years ago
  • How? His idea isn't anything earth shattering and it has been done before since 1990, its basically this well known concept + a twist. You see this everyday: Google wasn't the first search engine, but they had a twist.. – Bojo 12 years ago
  • If you haven't noticed: we **haven't** SIGNED ANY LEGAL DOCS either – Bojo 12 years ago
  • Bojo: Be careful, not all contracts need to be in writing. All I am saying is be careful and CYA. – Jonny Boats 12 years ago
  • Thanks Johnny. Do have any options here to just work on the idea myself? – Bojo 12 years ago
  • Bojo: Is the idea in the public domain? Or could it be?. If the idea were public then anyone, including you, could work on it. – Jonny Boats 12 years ago

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