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Lucy, Esq.
Lucy, Esq., Attorney
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Experience:  Lawyer
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How is a dispute on the ownership of a corporation resolved?

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How is a dispute on the ownership of a corporation resolved? Is the president/sole shareholder always determined to be the owner or can some sort of side document change who the owner is in the eyes of the law?

My name is XXXXX XXXXX I'd be happy to answer your questions today.

If there is a dispute as to ownership, it would likely have to be determined by a judge, based on the evidence presented. The person claiming ownership would file a case in Superior Court asking the judge to declare that he is the owner and to order the other party to sign whatever papers are necessary to transfer ownership.

The person listed as the owner/shareholder wouldn't automatically win - for example, if I had a document stating that you sold all of your shares to me, even if you were listed as the owner, the judge might find in my favor. Another example of documents that could affect ownership is a divorce decree awarding some or all of the primary shareholder's portion to a spouse. So, it's not always the president or sole shareholder - there are factual scenarios that could change the outcome.

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Customer: replied 4 years ago.

If the documents contesting ownership are 20 years old would the judge consider them valid even if the president/shareholder has been the same for those 20 years?

If the claim is that there was a contract transferring ownership, unfortunately, the statute of limitations has long since passed, so a party would not be able to sue based on an agreement entered 20 years ago.
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