You went into your business partnership in good faith, and you assumed that your partner did the same. Now, you’re just not so sure that your partner is actually on the up-and-up.
You’re also increasingly concerned that your business partner may be stealing from the company. You’d hate to make any kind of false accusations, and investigations take time and effort away from your business interests and money.
Here are some signs that tell you that your concerns are likely justified:
What to look out for
- When you ask questions, they muddle the answers.
If you have doubts about something they’ve promised or something they’re doing, you should be able to ask direct questions – and get direct answers. If your partner gives you vague reassurances or keeps telling you that they’ll “look into it,” you need to press for specifics. Be particularly concerned if they seem to be trying to dazzle you with a smile and vague reassurances or promises.
- They seem to be living beyond their means.
You probably have a pretty good idea about your partner’s financial status, so it’s only normal – and prudent – to wonder how they’re suddenly able to afford a $100,000 camper home for their vacations along with extravagant personal purchases. Money doesn’t come from trees, but it could be coming out of your business.
- They seem to be anxious about revealing the books.
If your business partner seems to hover over the financial statements but can’t explain them to you, you need to have a chat with your accountant – or get one on board. Common tricks used by dishonest business partners to steal company money include paying ghost companies for work that isn’t actually being done or paying a fictional employee a hefty salary.
If your business partner has been stealing from you, you need to act quickly. Experienced legal guidance can help you resolve the situation without putting your company in unnecessary danger.