My business partner and I are in disagreement over her ownership percentage.

Matthew (Guest) on Thursday, September 06 2012, 07:25 PM
I started a business 6 months ago with a partner. We decided we’d see if the business is really viable before having a lawyer draft an agreement. It was my business plan, I do the majority of the work, and I contributed more money to the venture than she did. We work out of the apartment on my Newton property, I pay utilities and property tax. My understanding was that the ownership was 60-40 in my favor. She now claims that she owns 50% of the company. What can I do?
1 response Add Yours
       
  •  
    Replied by Attorney Howard Goldman on Thursday, September 06 2012, 07:42 PM · Hide · #1
    Unfortunately, this situation arises quite often when people start a small business without consulting an attorney. What could have easily been spelled out in a written agreement at the commencement of the business now has the potential to lead to costly litigation. What you have explained sounds like an “oral partnership” or possibly an “oral joint venture.”

    My strong suggestion it to first attempt to mediate this dispute and try to come up with an agreement you can both live with going forward. Based upon your email, it seems that you have contributed the majority of the capital and the “sweat equity” so I am not quite sure why you agreed to the split of ownership that you did. If you can come to an arrangement, you should document the terms of this settlement clearly in writing. You could consider an LLC, an LLP, an S corporation or a general partnership agreement. If you cannot come to an agreement, it would seem that you would need to dissolve the partnership and file a lawsuit for an accounting of the assets, profits, and losses. Please feel free to call us to discuss your options.
Your Response

Top Massachusetts Attorneys Ready To Answer Your Questions

1
Attorney Stephen Morte
Attorney Stephen Morte
Divorce, Criminal Defense, Personal Injury
2
Attorney Austin Joyce
Attorney Austin Joyce
Trial & Litigation, Personal Injury
3
Attorney Joseph Leone
Attorney Joseph Leone
Divorce, Criminal Defense, Family Law
4
Attorney Michael Akerson
Attorney Michael Akerson
Business Law, Employment Law, Trial & Litigation
5
Attorney Craig Ciechanowski
Attorney Craig Ciechanowski
Business Law, Trial & Litigation, Real Estate
6
Attorney Jack Merrill
Attorney Jack Merrill
Employment Law
7
Attorney Bruce Watson
Attorney Bruce Watson
Divorce, Criminal Defense
8
Attorney Chesley Oriel
Attorney Chesley Oriel
Business Law, Real Estate
9
Attorney Kenneth Simmons
Attorney Kenneth Simmons
Estate Planning, Elder Law
10
Attorney Liam Floyd
Attorney Liam Floyd
Trial & Litigation, Personal Injury
11
Attorney Tracy Fischer
Attorney Tracy Fischer
Divorce, Family Law, Mediation
12
Attorney Damian Riddle
Attorney Damian Riddle
Criminal Defense, Family Law, Drunk Driving
13
Attorney David Rubin
Attorney David Rubin
Divorce, Personal Injury
14
Attorney Bill Keller
Attorney Bill Keller
Real Estate, Personal Injury
15
Attorney Ann Trehub
Attorney Ann Trehub
Personal Injury
16
Attorney Howard Goldman
Attorney Howard Goldman
Business Law, Trial & Litigation, Real Estate
17
Attorney Amy Beth Baron
Attorney Amy Beth Baron
Divorce, Family Law, Mediation
18
Attorney Cameron Pease
Attorney Cameron Pease
Business Law, Trial & Litigation, Real Estate
19
Attorney Larry Krasnow
Attorney Larry Krasnow
Trial & Litigation, Personal Injury, Elder Law
20
Attorney Steven Houde
Attorney Steven Houde
Personal Injury