Running a successful business comes with its own unique set of challenges – and business partnerships are essential for success. The Coronavirus pandemic has no doubt thrown curveballs at business owners across the country, but what happens to a business when one business partner falls ill to COVID-19 – or worse, becomes incapacitated or succumbs to the illness? Unfortunately, all business partnerships need to prepare for scenarios where incapacity planning might be necessary during the current public health crisis.
Incapacity Planning For Business Continuity
When a business partner becomes unable to make decisions and uphold their duties to the business, they can be deemed incapacitated. This means they can no longer take care of personal and business matters independently. Successful and effective business planning should anticipate future events that could impact business wellbeing and cause disruptive partnership disputes. Planning for these issues must involve working with an experienced commercial litigation lawyer to assist in drafting documents and contracts that prepare the business for any potential negative outcomes.
Incapacity planning expresses the wishes of the owners of an entity in the event they become unable to make decisions. Many business owners have likely not considered incapacity planning as part of a business plan; however, given the unprecedented circumstances of the global pandemic on companies across the country and around the world, incapacity planning has quickly gained attention. The formation and readiness of a sound plan in the event the unthinkable does occur can help maintain a successful business and the years of hard work and effort you have put into it.
Under the guidance of a Houston commercial litigation attorney, partners will have the opportunity to draft incapacity planning documents – which can be included as part of a partnership agreement – that address specific concerns including potential future incapacity. During this meeting, partners have the opportunity to express and legally document their greatest concerns in the form of specific clauses contained in foundational business documents. Such concerns can lead to a lawyer outlining the steps to take for something as specific as a partner becoming incapacitated – even down to the reason for incapacitation, such as coronavirus. Meeting with experienced business counsel also provides an opportunity for partners to express the manner in which they intend for their outlined concerns to be handled, including what happens if they are not able to provide oversight. By drafting and applying these specific clauses, partners can feel confident in the continuation of their business without conflict regardless of future events.
Why Additional Planning is Necessary
The first step in avoiding costly business debacles is preparation. While a business’s history can reflect profitable years of growth, its business plan isn’t necessarily immune to faults and weaknesses. Of the many corporate vulnerabilities exposed by the coronavirus pandemic, businesses being change-averse has become an increasingly damning characteristic that compounds current challenges. Time-sensitive issues like reconfiguring the physical setup of a workspace and how to address employee health-related concerns cannot be appropriately handled if an organization is attempting to apply outdated business practices. All of a business entity’s crucial documents are in urgent need of review in order to ensure they contemplate COVID-19 concerns.
Reviewing, adjusting, and implementing an incapacity plan gives a business and its partners the opportunity to pivot in order to meet demanding needs and concerns of the current economic climate and world. In order to ensure a business remains open and secure during these times, free from internal conflict between partners or shareholders, an audit of current governing documents, business policies, and the like is strongly recommended. When sitting down with an experienced commercial litigation attorney, business owners can present and discuss all of their professional concerns – including the many “what ifs” of current day-to-day life. This meeting will not only provide a current snapshot of their business, but it can also provide insight into areas of weakness that may not even be known concerns while formulating processes for future emergencies or business crises.
Houston Commercial Litigation Attorneys
The process of building, running, and maintaining a successful business reflects years of hard work, collaboration, and resilience. The lawyers at Feldman & Feldman understand the complexities of today’s highly competitive business world, including those involved in contract and plan drafting. In order to effectively draft a document that meets both the partners’ and the business’ needs, your business should work with the oversight and direction of an experienced commercial litigation attorney. If your business needs assistance with contract drafting during these unprecedented times, please contact the attorneys at Feldman & Feldman today.