can i sue my former employer for money i put into business

I put approximately 200,000 of my own money into my former employers business. He even carried it on his balance sheet as an Accounts Payable. He has since sold the business but I have never been repaid. I have contacted one lawyer and was told I’d have to pay hourly rate as we went. I can not afford to do so.

Asked on March 30, 2017 under Business Law, Alaska


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Yes, you can sue for the money. If the money was a loan to the business, you could sue for its repayment according to the terms of the loan (including interest, if that was part of the agreement); generally, once someone defaults on (that is, violates) the terms of a loan by missing payments, you can then pay for the full balance due to you.
Or if it was an investment in the business, giving you a share of or interest in the business, you could sue to get your share of the sale price. To oversimplify: say that for $20k you were supposed to get a 1/5th interest in the business, then if he sold it for $200k, you'd get 1/5th of that, or $40k.
While having an attorney is obviously beneficial, you are allowed to be your own lawyer and sue on a "pro se" basis.

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