If I left a business partnership andused my personal cell for business, can the remaining partner demand the phone number be turned over to her?

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If I left a business partnership andused my personal cell for business, can the remaining partner demand the phone number be turned over to her?

The dissolution agreement that was signed specifically says “business assets”, phone numbers, fax numbers, training presentations, files, etc. She is now saying my cell phone number must be put in her name. This is my personal cell phone number that I had before even meeting my now ex-partner. She has one also, and we both made both business and personal calls with them, and they were both listed on every email, letter, website, etc. The phone and number have always been registered in my name, and not linked with the business name at all. Does she have a leg to stand on?

Asked on January 25, 2011 under Business Law, Pennsylvania

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

She probably does have a leg to stand on--business assets can include assets of the owners or partners which they had previously but in some fashion turned over to the business. If the phone number was listed on emails, letters, website, etc., a reasonable case can be made that the phone number was given to the business and became a business asset--it's part of how vendors, customers, etc. know and contact the business. This is not to say that, if push came to shove, the partner would win--but she does have a case to be made, and you now need to decide how much money and effort you are potentially willing to spend (e.g. in a lawsuit) to retain this phone number, especially when you could still lose at the end of the day.


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