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Chris T., JD
Chris T., JD, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 4823
Experience:  Experienced in both state and federal court.
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I started a business with another person 3 years ago. For

Customer Question

I started a business with another person 3 years ago. For those 3 years we referred to us as partners to our clients and potential clients. He started dating another woman in June and shut me out of the business completely. I attempted to speak with him about this in a business matter with a focus on the business and all I got back was there is no way I can be involved or she will break up with him. He contacted me at the beginning of August and informed me that the business cannot be run just by him and he needs my help BUT I can do very minimal and it has to be from my home (where I am not equipped) because he cannot tell his girlfriend. Since then he has confided in me that he wants to break up with this girl but he has promised her a position in the business so he feels obligated to stay. Then continues to tell me when she starts I have to go. So my question is..... The 3 years that we were partners (no written agreement), do I have any rights now to come back and at least say "hey I'm a partner and this business is failing, therefore, I will be coming back to work in my full capacity. SIDE NOTE **** In those three years my partner took a yearly salary. I put my salary back into the business $60,000/year (total of $180,000). Do I have any rights?
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Chris T., JD replied 11 months ago.

Hello. I'll be happy to assist you.

On paper, who owns the company? Does he own 100%? Is it organized as an LLC, LLP, Inc., etc?

Expert:  Chris T., JD replied 11 months ago.

Also, is there anything in writing regarding the salary you put back in the company?

Expert:  Chris T., JD replied 11 months ago.

Your main problem here is going to be the lack of documentation of your partnership. Generally speaking, courts look at what's in writing over what the parties may have intended for the agreement to be. In other words, if you were partners in your minds, but you never signed an agreement to that effect, you are in a very, very difficult legal position. If he owns the business on paper and there was no document to change that at any point, then he's still the owner, and he gets all the rights that go along with that.

As far as the salary is concerned, you may have a better claim there. If you put the money back into the company with the mutual understanding that you were a partner and would profit from the growth of the business later down the road, and now he is saying you are not a partner, and attempting to essentially fire you, you have a claim on a number of grounds, including fraud, breach of contract, assumpsit, and others.

Expert:  Chris T., JD replied 11 months ago.

I have to step away for a little while, but if you have any questions, I'll be happy to answer then as soon as I return. If you don't have any questions, please remember to "rate" my answer before you go.