Brisbane office (07) 3180 0150
Gold Coast office (07) 5529 8803
Home >  Blog >  A Lesson from Fifty Shades of Grey (no, not that kind of lesson...)

A Lesson from Fifty Shades of Grey (no, not that kind of lesson...)

Posted by Elizabeth Gore-Jones on 8 February 2016

Whilst women (and men) around the globe learned many an interesting lesson from Fifty Shades of Grey, that is not the kind of lesson we can really discuss in a law blog....

Oddly enough though, a business lesson (not of the whips and chains ilk) can be taken away and hopefully it prevents expensive commercial mistakes being made in the future, although I sadly doubt it.

The back story is one of trust and alleged betrayal so it may itself become a movie all on its own.

It is a long story so in bullet point format for easy reading it is as follows:

  • associates/friends form a business
  • associates/friends do not document business relationship
  • one associate (no longer friends at this stage) alleges she was the sole owner of the business and the others were merely employees or volunteers or something like that
  • one associate claims they were partners
  • one associate pockets about $40 million
  • one associate pockets about $100,000
  • everybody ends up in court to fight it out

Lesson to be learned - document your business relationship whilst everybody is still friends.  It is too late to document the arrangement when you all fall out and hate each other.

When documenting your arrangement, record everything including:

  1. how money is to be contributed
  2. how profits are to be distributed
  3. an outline of each party's role
  4. when you will sell the business (preferably for a huge return)
  5. what the business does
  6. how decisions will be made

Not only will such an agreement be helpful if you do fall out, it may actually prevent you from falling out.  If you have the difficult conversations at the beginning and it is all recorded then this may save resentment from arising and leading to a breakdown in the relationship.

Now back to that erotic fiction writing....

Author: Elizabeth Gore-Jones
About: Elizabeth specialises in franchising law. She lectures at Bond University PLA in franchising, she sits on the Queensland Law Society Franchising Committee, she is a past member of the Women in Franchising committee and a past member of the Franchise Council of Australia.
Connect via: Twitter LinkedIn
Tags: Business

latest news

Bob Jane Corp Failure to Comply with Code

May 01 2020
The Franchising Code of Conduct requires that a franchisor advise a franchisee in writing at least 6 months before the end of the franchise term whether or not the franchisor intends to renew or extend the franchise agreement. A failure to com...

Quick Question?

Liability limited by a scheme approved under professional standards legislation

Brisbane Office Address: Clarence Chambers,
Level 10, 239 George St,
Brisbane QLD 4000

Gold Coast Office Address: Wyndham Corporate Centre
Level 9, 1 Corporate Court
Bundall QLD 4217

Central Post Office Box Address: P.O. Box 428
Oxenford, QLD 4217