Am I entiled to compensation for getting a building ready to open restaurant if 1 of the owners decides against it?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Am I entiled to compensation for getting a building ready to open restaurant if 1 of the owners decides against it?

I have been working, cleaning, decorating on this building for the last 9 months in hopes of opening this month, when 1 of the 2 owners decides he doesn’t want me to be on his property, when I was going into business with the other owner. I don’t know how the other owner did it but he has taken claim to everything along with my pizza oven. Is it legal for him to do what he did. Can I file a claim?

Asked on January 19, 2018 under Business Law, Texas


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

You are entitled to whatever the agreement was between you and the owners for the work you did, whether that was pay, a share of the business, etc.: there is nothing set in the law to which you are entitled, but rather this is a matter of contract or agreement. Even if there was no written agreement but only an oral (unwritten) one, you are entitled to what they agreed to give you in exchange for your work. If they don't give you that voluntarily, your recourse would be to sue them for "breach of contract" to get what you are entitled to.
Oral (unwritten) agreements are enforceable in the law, but it is obviously more difficult to prove the existence of such an agreement and, if it exists, what its terms were. If you did not have a written agreement for this work, make sure that in the future, you always have one, since to win in court, you must be able to convince the court that there was an agreement and what it was for.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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