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Richard, Attorney
Category: Business Law
Satisfied Customers: 55607
Experience:  32 years of experience practicing law and a businessman.
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I was promised equity in a start up business, but have not

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I was promised equity in a start up business, but have not been given do I proceed?
Welcome! My goal is to do my very best to understand your situation and to provide a full and complete answer for you.

Good afternoon. If your partner has not performed under your agreement, file a breach of contract suit to ask a court to enforce his promise. If you have a written contract, you can obviously sue on that written agreement. Even if you don't have a signed written agreement, you can still pursue this through the courts. The lack of a written contract can be overcome by the concepts of promissory estoppel, detrimental reliance, and unjust enrichment. This situation arises when Person A relied upon the verbal agreement, Person A performed based on such reliance, and because Person B defaulted, such reliance is now to Person A's detriment. Where there is i) partial performance by Person A based upon the mutual promises, ii) Person A relied upon such promises to perform, iii) Person B's failure to perform would be to Person A's detriment, and iv) result in Person B being unjustly enriched, Person A can overcome the legal requirement that the agreement be in writing. Your situation meets all the foregoing elements.

Thank you so much for allowing me to help you with your questions. I have done my best to provide information which will be helpful to you. If I have not fully addressed your questions or if you have any follow up questions, or if I have misinterpreted your questions in any way, please do not rate me yet, but simply ask a follow up question without rating so I can provide you with a fully satisfactory answer. If I have fully answered your question(s) to your satisfaction, I would appreciate you rating my service with 3, 4, or 5 faces/stars so I can receive credit for helping you today. I thank you in advance for taking the time to provide me a positive rating!

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you for your help, I do have a follow up question. I have been offered an employment agreement which states that I will receive 10% equity and a small salary effective 3/28/2013, but this agreement is for 12 months. But I have been working since November of 2011. Based on this agreement I would own 10% equity for 12 months and after that have to re-negotiate my employment contract. Does this employment contract and my denial change the nature of the issue?

You're's my pleasure. And, thanks for following up. It would not as long as you make sure the employment agreement specifically provides that the 10% equity is 100% vested based upon past services.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you so much!


Well worth it my friend. You sir have another very satisfied customer.


Thank you!

You're very welcome! Thank you so much for the kind words! Have a great day!
Richard and 2 other Business Law Specialists are ready to help you
Thank you so much for the positive rating! I appreciate having had the opportunity to serve you! If I can be of assistance to you in the future, just look me up and I will be happy to help!