How long after a business closes, can the owner be sued?

UPDATED: Aug 25, 2011

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How long after a business closes, can the owner be sued?

My sister closed her pool and spa business and was told that she needed to keep all her business papers as she could be sued indefinitely.I don’t know if it was a C corp., S corp., or LLC. Her subcontractor did shoddy work and she has already put out a lot of money to cover that mess. She has closed the business and has mountains of papers she was told she could never get rid of because she is liable to be sued forever. Isn’t there a statute of limitations on liability of a closed business?

Asked on August 25, 2011 Washington


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

The statute of limitations runs as to your sister's closed entity just like it would run as to any person concerning any wrongful act or tort as set forth under the laws of the various states in this country.

If your sister ran her business out of an entity such as a corporation or limited liability company and kept her business operations separate from her personal matters and had adequate insurance for her businesses' errors and operations, she should be in good shape personally in the event of any lawsuit from being liable for any claims.

Most statute of limitations are at the most for four (4) years from the date the wrongful act started. However, if your sister's business operations were that in the building trades such as building new construction, the time period for latent defects could be up to ten (10) years for statute of limitations purposes.

Good luck.


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 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.

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