Do I have any legal options to “force” the books to be shown to me if II am a 50% owner of a small business S Corp?

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Do I have any legal options to “force” the books to be shown to me if II am a 50% owner of a small business S Corp?

The other 50% owner does the books and handles the money. When I ask to see the books, records, etc. I am often denied access by the other owner, who lives in another state.

Asked on March 10, 2014 under Business Law, Florida

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

Yes: as half owner, 1) you are as entitled to the books, records, etc. as any other owner; and 2) the other owner has a fiduciary duty to you, which he is violating if he will not allow you to see the businness records, accounting, etc.

You may bring a lawsuit to force him to reveal this information and then, if it turns out he is embezzling or otherwise cheating you, sue him for any losses or damages. You are advised to retain an attorney to help you.


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