How canI shut down a business thatI don’t own?

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How canI shut down a business thatI don’t own?

The counsel for the Health Dept sent an administrative complaint that asked for the business to shut down, a voluntary relinquishment of my license, and for me to agree never to apply for another such business. Problem is –  I don’t own this business. I was an employee there. The owner moved out of state and wanted me to be able to handle the money for her, so she created a corporation that only owned the bank account (not the business). Further, she closed the business about 2 years ago. She even e-mailed them a letter stating this and included the license. What do I do?

Asked on February 26, 2011 under Business Law, Florida

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

What you can--and should--do is get a lawyer. Immediately. There is some confusion here, since obviously the government thinks you own the business and have control over it--and perhaps you do without realizing it, depending upon how exactly the corporation was set up. At a minimum, if "your" corporation "owns" the bank account, you may have effective control--and be the only with effective control--over the business, making you liable for its actions. Obviously also, the state thinks the business is still in existence, which means that *something* may be conducting business still.

Something sounds very, very wrong--there is NO need to set up a new corporation to handle money because the owner moved out of state; many businesses have out of state owners, and banks are used to handling accounts for people or entities out of state. There was no legal requirement for her to do what she did based on what your write, which means there is something you are not understanding and/or she did not do what you think she did.

So consult with an attorney--now. Bring ALL documentation relating to the business, the bank account, the corporation, etc.


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