What to do When Business Partner Leaves Business

Responsibilities To Your Former Company Partners

For whatever reason, you’re wanting to leave the company in which you were a partner. With that you’re wondering if you have any obligation to your former partner(s). The below information will help guide you through this process.


If you’ve actually been a director in the company, there are some things you need to know. If you were a director, you’ll have to ensure company taxes have been appropriately filed until the dissolution of the company. You can’t just leave without doing it properly. A director has to make it publicly known at a meeting where happenings are documented that he is resigning as a director. Having it in the minutes of the meeting is important. This information should also be sent to the appropriate authorities like any lending institutions, government agencies and so on.

Make a plan

If you’re handing your business over to your partner(s), you need to consider planning for the succession. More than likely, you’ll want a smooth transition. This allows you to exit gracefully and keep good relationships with your former partner(s) and employees. A plan will:

  • Help to ensure the business legacy
  • Help you move through life’s curveballs like accidents, illnesses or deaths
  • Offer financial security for your stakeholders and family
  • Help you plan for the future
  • Give you a timeframe for leaving the business one step at a time

As with any good plan, calling upon those who can help you is a good idea. Get in touch with your lawyer, accountant and financial consultant to make the process less stressful.

A change in the dynamic of the business such as your leaving as a partner may entail changes in the business itself. Will the business be considered new? Will it need a fresh business number and Canada Revenue Agency accounts? These are questions that can be answered by professionals.

Keep the communication going

Talk to your partner(s) and/or successors. They need to be clear on how they fit into the picture. Let them be a part of the transition steps.

What if there is no partnership agreement?

If you didn’t have a formal partnership agreement, being on the same page and working out the dynamics together will help. If that’s not possible, a third party intermediary can be called in to help oversee a smooth exit for you and transition for your partner(s).

Moving on from a company you own, founded or became a leading member of is a daunting step. Ensuring a smooth transition with your partner(s), employees and successors will allow the company to either continue successfully or resolve itself effectively. Take note of the above tips if you’re currently undergoing this career change.