My partner left the business operation but continues to access and use company property. What are my options?

Get Legal Help Today

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

My partner left the business operation but continues to access and use company property. What are my options?

My partner left the day to day operation of the business in October, 2008, taking our largest supplier with him. He continues to enter the business after hours and help himself to the use of company property. He claims he owns half the business, he’ll do what he wants. I am not currently in a position to buy him out

Asked on June 23, 2009 under Business Law, Maine

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

*Does* own half the business property? If so, he does have a right to use it. You say he "claims" to own half the business, so the question is, does he? Is there a partnership agreement, or if its a corporation, an incorporation agreement, setting forth each person's ownership and their rights? If not, are there at least some other documents--a memo or letter signed by both of you, describing ownership and management? cancelled checks or receipts for purchases, showing how much each person has contributed? etc.--that will help establish each person's ownership rights?

First step in the analysis, is to determine exactly what each person owns. Second is to see if there is any other documentation limiting what a partner could do if he's not active in management.

Assuming that your partner does own half of the business and that there is no contract or other agreement saying that a non-active partner can't use business property, then the assumption would be that as 50% owner, he has equal rights to access things as you do.

If you can't buy him out all at once, could you buy him out with a note that is payable over time? That way, you could get him out the business now, but pay him over the next year or few years.

 


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption