Does my deadbeat business partner have a claim to my domain?

I discussed doing an internet business with a friend. I found a domain, registered it under my name and paid for it ($1000). He later compensated me for half the cost. Since then he has proven to be impossible to work with, missing meetings, providing no input, failing to pay his business expenses, and acting erratically, making threats. I don’t wish to work with him anymore, and he claims he has right to claim the domain as his own. We have no formal written documentation regarding our working relationship. Does he have a claim?

Asked on May 27, 2009 under Business Law, California

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Although you have no formal written agreement, you did enter in to a business relationship with your friend and some form of verbal agreement on the business.  If he has become too difficult to deal with and you are intent on keeping the domain name, it may be time to seek out a lawyer to put in to writing some form of agreement to terminate any rights he may claim.  You may need to provide him with some compensation to be rid of him completely.   You need to weigh all the issues here - financial and otherwise.


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