Can a business partner sue me for an investment in a company where no partnership agreement was ever signed?

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Can a business partner sue me for an investment in a company where no partnership agreement was ever signed?

I own a coffee shop where my ex-girlfriend invested 15% into the business and now has left the relationship and is threatening to sue me for her investment and her hours spent working as a part owner of the shop. However I have put in just as much time at the shop as she did and the business so far has not shown a profit. Can she sue me for her investment and her time spent working the club?

Asked on October 17, 2010 under Business Law, Colorado

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

This is America.Anyone can sue anyone else.  If she can prove a partnership agreement under the law then the courts can assume same and apply the law in your state as to the agreement it determines existed. I would suggest that you speak with a business attorney in your area as to the law that exists in your state and the interpretation under your set of facts.  Can she sue you for the "seed" money?  Sure she can. But you can't get blood from a stone. How it will all play out will also depend on your bottom line.  You may have to pay her back once a profit is made. She can be reimbursed for her time at a value set by the judge again, once a profit is made. Good luck.  


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