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Lucy, Esq.
Lucy, Esq., Attorney
Category: Business Law
Satisfied Customers: 29802
Experience:  Attorney
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I started working with a guy and s food business. When we

Customer Question

I started working with a guy and his food business. When we first started working together , it was a verbal agreement that we would be business partners. I believe he'll try to say we misunderstood the word "partners". but I acted as so, I created logos,
flyers, his business cards, acted as personal assistant and partner by means that during the 75 days working with him I was not paid on the weekly basis as agreed up.. He was supposed to pay me basically $10 per unit sold. so our quota was 30-40 but on some
days we would not meet quota due to him either, not providing as many units to sell or not wanting to work. I spent over 12 hours a day working for this person, being hands on.. making deliveries and promoting day and night. Before he started working with
me his following was 300 not even able to sell 10 units a week .Now its at 2k and ive promoted him to where he's now able to work 5 days a week with consistent purchases. Now I am no longer working with him because he says Im not an asset anymore. But has
yet to pay me whats owed. I only charge him for 10 weeks at $200 a wk= 2000. Has paid me 1250 in small installments and now owes a balance of 750.. He's now saying that he does not owe me anything . I want to take him to small claims. but i would like advice.
Because i acted as if it was my own company and worked just as hard as him if not more, would i be entitled to a percentage of company. Ive sat in meetings with his, gave him business advice, went to the bank to open accounts and even helped him register his
business.Is it worth fighting for as i have text messages, screen shots and plenty of proof of the work i did? or just make him pay whats owed and go separate ways
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Business Law
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 2 years ago.


I'm Lucy, and I'd be happy to answer your questions today. I'm sorry to hear that this happened.

The term "partner" has an established meaning. It's not really open to interpretation. A person doesn't say "Let's be partners" if what he really means is "I want you to be my employee." If you both agreed that you would be partners and did not discuss specific percentages of ownership, then you're entitled to half the business. However, a judge isn't likely to order that the two of you continue working together in this type of situation, so what he would give you is half the value of the business, or half the business assets, which you could then use to open your own business.

Any emails, text messages, or other written communications where he used the word partner would help your case. Even if you said "partner" and he responded in a way that didn't show disagreement, that would work. But he's not allowed to unilaterally decide he's not interested in having a partner anymore and kick you out with nothing. That's not how the law works.

You have a right to make an offer to settle, if you'd prefer not to go to court, for any amount that you believe is fair. And you're allowed to let him know that, if he chooses not to settle, you'll go to court for what you're entitled to. Sometimes, if you send a letter via certified mail or have a local attorney write it, people give it more attention.

It's important that you are 100% satisfied with my courtesy and professionalism. Thank you.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for that. There was a time in registering the business that he asked if we should put it as partnership or sole proprietor (llc) and change it later, and we decided together that we would put it as llc and change it later, now is this accepted as evidence of partnership in the court. theres nothing with my name on the business. but i was there through everything even helping him register it and telling him what to do and where to go to.He's saying that because i didnt put up 50% of the money that we arent partners but in the time of working with him i was paid one day when we first started working and then after that nothing for 2 months. I believe that if i did get paid at the time we first agreed on then a percentage of my money would have went in fact towards the business we were supposed to grow together b ut because i recieved nothing i wasnt allowed to do that due to me not receiving income and him holding tips from me. He also is trying to say that i didnt put in anything but because its a food business i did put my own food stamps on two occasions that left me with nothing to myself for the business, and on one day we didnt have any money for a rental and i gave my last bit to purchase one for the next work day. is this enough to prove along with screenshots of the work i did,, flyers and promo posting, etc to prove that im entitled to half? i worked just as hard as he did and never was paid
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 2 years ago.
There's nothing in the law that requires a partner to put up half the money for a business. It's actually fairly common for one person to put up the money and the other to put in training, expertise, grunt work, etc.
Gather all the evidence you have. You just have to show the judge that, more likely than not, you had this agreement and that's why you were working so hard to establish the business.
If you're not a partner, then he owes you minimum wage for all hours worked, and time and a half for all hours over 40.