• Commercial Law

    Commercial Law

    We are business people as much as we are lawyers. We will take care of the legal documents so you can confidently run your business.
    As your business grows, its risk profile and governance challenges will change. We partner with our clients over the long term to ensure they are in the driver’s seat for success.

  • Dispute Resolution

    Dispute Resolution

    We are in your corner when the going gets tough. Having resolved over 6,500 disputes for business owners have seen it all before.

    Whether you need a skilled negotiator or a fearless litigator, we specialise in delivering commercial results when:

    Customers refuse to pay;
    Suppliers let you down; and
    Business Partners do the wrong thing.

  • Employment & Safety

    Employment & Safety

    The biggest challenge for any business owner, is managing their employees.

    A difficult employee can make you question why you got into business in the first place and be toxic to your team morale.

    We deliver proactive solutions to manage your team via employment contracts, policies and procedures as well as handling employment disputes when they arise.

  • Property & Construction

    Property & Construction

    Property is the key most wealth in Australia.  Whether you are buying, selling, leasing or developing property, you need a lawyer you can count on.

    We can advise on the whole property development process from obtaining finance to development approvals, construction and sale or leasing.

    We also act for the Master Builders Victoria and have extensive expertise in construction contracts and disputes.

  • Family Law

    Family Law

    At Taurus Legal Management we understand the unique challenges clients encounter during family disputes, especially when children are involved. Our family lawyers specialise in handling high-asset cases with a focus on protecting clients wealth, securing their family’s future, and safeguarding the best interests of their children.


How to Avoid Disputes Between Business Owners

Most businesses have more than one owner. While there are many upsides to multiple business owners, a key downside risk is that the owners will pull the business in different directions and ultimately end up in a dispute.

This article provides some tips on aligning owners to work cooperatively to grow the business and avoid disputes.

Impact of a Dispute

Disputes between owners of a business can be very damaging to both the business and the owners personally. In our experience, a dispute between owners can cause:

1. A major distraction from business operations;
2. Damage to customer relationships and brand;
3. Significant family and personal stress;
4. A forced buyout of an owner; or
5. The wind up of the business.

Given the severity of the damage caused by director disputes, it is no surprise that all directors want to limit their exposure. However, often business owners leave it until a dispute has already arisen before seeking help from their legal and financial advisors. Once the dispute reaches this stage, the directors have already limited the course of action to resolve the dispute. This is why we recommend implementing strategies and having legal documents in place from the outset to align the owners and reduce the risk of having a dispute in the first place.


The first step in arming yourself against a dispute is to be aware of some strategies to implement to reduce the risk of a dispute altogether. When starting a business, we recommend that you:

1. Identify and align your business: understand what each director is after and make sure they are consistent. For example, is the focus of the directors on maximising profit or being self-employed and take advantage of a work-life balance?
2. Clarify roles and responsibilities: understand what each director is responsible for (i.e. liaising with suppliers, being in control of the finances etc). Ensure that both directors understand their own responsibilities and what is involved in the other director’s duties.
3. Consider ‘what if’? You need to consider what happens in worst case scenarios such as who funds the business if the directors have no funds available to give, what happens if one owner wants to exit the business and what happens if the directors cannot agree on a decision regarding the management of the business. It is important when considering these options to ensure the appropriate legal document is prepared.

Legal Documents

Once the strategies are considered, the owners should document their decisions in binding legal documents to govern how to deal with the worst-case scenarios. At the outset, we recommend having:

1. A Shareholder Agreement or Partnership Agreement: governs the owners roles, rights, responsibilities, obligations and liabilities to the business;
2. A Loan Agreement: if the owners intend on loaning money to the business, it is imperative that any funds advanced are covered by a Loan Agreement. The Loan Agreement should include how much monies are to be advanced, the interest rate (if any) and when the monies are to be repaid. To strengthen the directors’ security for payment, it may also be appropriate to have a General Security Agreement which gives the director the status of a secured creditor (meaning they will have a better chance of being repaid should the business be put into liquidation);
3. A Business Exit Deed (or include this in the shareholder agreement): this will govern the procedure for a director to leave the business. It may include how the director will resign, the amount to be paid for the director’s shares in the business, whether the director is to stay in the business to hand-over work and what happens if a director passes away.

We recommend seeking legal advice to ensure the correct legal documents are prepared and enforceable. If you need assistance from a member of our team, please contact us on (03) 9481 2000 or info@tauruslawyers.com.au.

Posted by Taurus Legal Management