If I acquired a large asset with a person who I intended to go into a business partnership with but it fell through, can I sue him for half of that asset?

The receipt for purchasing it is in my name but it is on his property.

Asked on August 28, 2014 under Business Law, North Carolina


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

It depends on what the terms of the agreement between you as business formation, investment, and this asset in particular were--any contracts or other agreements governing this asset and the circumstances will control what happens.

As a general matter, if there was no specific agreement as to what would happen, if the asset were jointly acquired by the two of you, then if you cannot voluntarily work out what will happen (for example, he buys out your share; or the two of you sell it to a third party and split the sale price), then yes--you can bring a legal action seeking a court order directing that the asset be sold and the proceeds thereof distributed between the of you. Since, however, legal actions/lawsuits have their own costs, it may be best if you can work this out voluntarily, even if that means, for example, accepting somewhat less from him than you'd prefer, in order to save the costs, time, etc. of a lawsuit.

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