When you decided to start a business with someone else, you likely had an image of sharing workloads and working in harmony. Unfortunately, not all partnerships end up that way.

While there are times when a dispute occurs and it can be resolved, partnerships can sometimes become unhealthy. In these cases, there is no opportunity for resolution. 

How can business owners tell the difference? Here are five signs of a toxic business partner relationship.

1. You have inequitable skills

Business partners should have an equal set of skills, even if they aren’t experts in the same area. One can be good at people management while another is good at managing finances. But if your business partner has significantly less experience that you do, only one of you is benefiting from the partnership.

2. You don’t share values

Business partners should share a vision for the business’s future and come to an agreement on how to execute them. If you realize that you and your partner don’t, it can cause serious issues that are hard to resolve. It’s difficult to compromise your business ideology.

3. Your partner is too stubborn

If you have a partner with an uncompromising attitude or one who refuses to try any new ideas, it can be difficult to adapt the business as the market evolves. If you try to resolve disagreements with them and they are unmoving, the business can’t move forward.

4. You don’t hear solutions

You and your partner should be able to work together to find creative solutions to your business’s problems. If all your partner does is highlight issues while leaving you to figure them out, it’s not a healthy partnership.

5. You don’t trust them

This is a big one. If you don’t inherently trust your business partner for any reason, the partnership can’t work.

If you think your business partnership has turned toxic, it may be worth discussing if litigation is necessary. Your business is worth protecting, even if you have to save it from one of its own founders.