My 50-50 cofounder won’t respond to any emails or texts after I chewed him out over email. Trying to split up, but can’t work things out with non-responsive person.

50-50 co-founder situation.  I’ve done 99% of work for 8 years and brought on a co-founder in a new venture with him where he promised to bring in $200k financing and sweat equity.  He’s done pretty much nothing and puts his head in the sand when issues come up and shirks responsibility. I can’t take it any longer, especially the communication shut-down despite many emails and texts over many weeks.

Next step is to pay a lawyer to look through our agreement to see how to split up. Would walk away except for an outstanding bill on an unfiled patent application that we owe a lawyer and want to retain patent I’ve developed. He paid out of pocket for initial lawyer fee.

Any advice or ideas?


  • Honest thoughts that might hurt your feelings.

    Its been 8 years and now is when you are realizing he is deadweight? Even if you had a vesting schedule in place im sure both of you are fully vested now which makes it extremely difficult to claw back his share or get a fair split Still, better late than never.

    About the patent, is the patent in the name of the company? Then you have no rights on it once you leave the company? Be sure to discuss this. Also, Is the patent pending or has it been awarded? Would suggest you reconsider hanging on to this patent if its still pending and hasn’t generated any fee for you till now.

    Small companies cannot afford to burn money on patents that dont generate any revenue. Cash is the most precious commodity for a startup

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