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Can You Sue Your Business Partner?

A California business litigation attorney knows that suing your business partner is not something that anyone wants to have to do. When you file a lawsuit against a business partner, you are making a disagreement you are having even more adversarial. You and your partner are both likely to spend a lot of money, and the outcome that arises may not be best for either of you or for the business. Whenever possible, it is best to find alternatives to litigation, especially if you intend to continue operating the company together. Can You Sue Your Business Partner?

While it may not be a good idea to sue your business partner, there are unfortunately some situations when this is your only option. If your business partner is acting in a manner that is harmful to the company or that goes against his obligations to the company, a lawsuit may be your best or only choice. If you do decide to sue your business partner, an experienced business litigation lawyer should be consulted for help.

Brown & Charbonneau, LLP provides invaluable assistance to those who are considering suing a business partner, as well as to individuals who have been sued by someone who they are working with. Our Southern California business litigation lawyers will help you to understand when to sue and what your alternatives are. We can also assist you in putting together the strongest case possible if you are involved in a lawsuit so you can maximize the chances your position will prevail in court. Contact us today to learn more.

When Can You Sue Your Business Partner?

When you form a partnership with someone, the hope is you will both work together to make your company a success. Unfortunately, there are many circumstances when this simply does not happen. Not all of those circumstances will give rise to a legal claim against your business partner. However, there are times when you have legal grounds for a lawsuit. You can sue your business partner if:

  • Your business partner engaged in fraud or theft. If your partner stole money or property from the company, you can file a claim to try to recover the items or funds. Theft or embezzlement is not only a civil matter, but is also a criminal matter.
  • Your business partner breached his fiduciary duty. Your partner owes an obligation to you and the company and you can take action if that duty is breached. A fiduciary duty may be breached when your partners acts in his own best interests instead of doing what is right for the company you have created together.
  • Your business partner violates any contractual agreements you have. You may enter into a wide variety of different contractual agreements, such as a non-disclosure agreement, an employment agreement, a non-compete agreement, and a partnership agreement. When any contract is breached, the party who was the victim of the breach can sue for damages. This includes contracts entered into between co-partners in a business venture.
  • Your business partner violates your intellectual property rights. If the company owns a patent, copyright, or trademark, your business partner cannot begin to personally use this intellectual property without the permission of the company.

These are just a few examples of situations where you may be able to bring a legal claim in civil court against someone whom you have partnered with.

What are Some Alternatives to Litigation Against a Business Partner?

Just because you can sue your business partner does not necessarily mean that you should sue your business partner. Litigation is adversarial and filing a lawsuit against a partner could make it very difficult for you to continue working together. A lawsuit could also affect your company brand and reputation.

An Irvine business litigation lawyer can help you to explore alternatives to suing a business partner, such as mediation or arbitration instead. These options can be more private, less costly, and can sometimes lead to better outcomes than litigation.

How Can a California Business Litigation Attorney Help You?

If you have become involved in a business disagreement and you are considering filing suit, you need the best legal help possible. An experienced Irvine business litigation attorney will work hard to help you take smart steps to protect yourself and your company when you resolve a disagreement through litigation or through other means like mediation.

Contact Brown & Charbonneau, LLP today at  714-505-3000 or contact us online to speak with a member of our legal team so you can find out more about the ways you can protect your investment in your business while resolving a business disagreement.