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Double Trouble

A well-drafted agreement can keep you out of court if your partnership breaks up.

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This story appears in the November 1996 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

If not for the divorce, the business partners might still be together. The two men had scraped together enough money to open a small pool supply store, which they built over 20 years into a profitable chain of 65.

But suddenly things got ugly. In the throes of a divorce, one partner decided he needed cash fast. Hoping to sell his half of the company, he found a group of investors who wanted the whole business. The other partner didn't want to sell; he offered to buy his partner out for less than the partner wanted. Instead, the partner who wanted out persuaded a judge to order the partnership dissolved, the assets sold, and his former partner fired for interfering with the takeover.

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