When in a business with another person and the business decides to split should everything also be split including product inventory and supplies?

My mother-in-law and I started a small sign making business we both have put the same time money and effort into this business. She decided when I moved out of her home the business was no more. I think everything should be 50/50 but she seems to think whatever I made I keep and vice versa even though she has benefited off some signs in the past that have already been sold.

Asked on October 2, 2017 under Business Law, Michigan


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Legally, you are correct: unless there was an agreement to the contrary, when a business with two equal owners is dissolved, each one gets 50% of its remaining assets, money, etc. (after first paying off any remaining business debts). But she wil not agree to that, you'd have to sue her to enforce a 50-50 division; you need to consider whether the time, cost, and famly acrimony of that is worth whatever additional amounts or items you hope to get.

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