My business partner abandoned her commitments!

(NNPA) Dear Gwendolyn:


Last year I went into business with a lady I had only known for three months. This is the problem: I borrowed $20,000 to start a home for the elderly—24 hr. sitting. I used the money to rent a large facility that had once been a small patient clinic. I purchased all furniture and medical equipment needed. I immediately had near full capacity.

My daughter came home one afternoon with a schoolmate. Her schoolmate told me her mother was looking for a job. After talking with her mother, she explained to me she was looking for a partner and not necessarily a job.

I quickly accepted her as my partner. We did the schedule. From the beginning she wanted all weekends off. Then she wanted to be paid and actually she had not worked long enough to receive a paycheck.

We were supposed to split the bills. Now six months later, she has not paid her portion of the expenses. Gwendolyn, how can I get my money?—Sarah

Dear Sarah:

Let me tell you this: In your explanation concerning your partner’s share of expenses, you did not mention the fact that you had already secured the loan, the facility, the medical equipment and other needed items to operate the business. What were you thinking about? You didn’t need a partner. You had already done the upfront of everything needed for the business.

Unless your contract was done by a legal professional you may not receive one dime from this lady. I do suggest that you dissolve this “partnership” immediately. Many entrepreneurs make the mistake as you did. The business you have started is a much need one. You don’t need a partner. What you need is—a sitter for hire.

(G.L. Baines, P.O. Box 10066, Raleigh, N.C. 27605-0066. Got a problem, e-mail her at: or write to her at address above. To receive a reply, send a self-addressed stamped envelope.)

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