What to do if my partner and I are dissolving our retail business partnership?

UPDATED: Mar 19, 2013

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What to do if my partner and I are dissolving our retail business partnership?

It was never a real partnership, only a mutual DBA and a bank account, the rest was under my name, no partnership agreement. During this time, I developed a software which we used for the retail location and saved us monthly costs. We now decided to separate, and I want to start my own business with this software. I am afraid my partner/ex partner will one day claim rights on it (once money starts coming in) since I developed it while we were working together. He already mentioned something about it. Does he has any legal rights for claiming partnership of a software I developed, even though he had 0 contribution, and our business was retail?

Asked on March 19, 2013 under Business Law, California


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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You need to seek legal help as soon as you can.  California law does not require that a partnership agreement be in writing to be valid and upheld in court.  How the court will interpret your property rights here is sketchy.  If you developed the software during your partnership for the benefit of the partnership then intellectual property laws in your state could value it as an asset of the partnership.  Get help.  Good luck.

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