Alberta Business Law: How to Deal With a Dispute Between Business Owners
As part of our business law and trial law practice we often are retained to deal with disputes between business owners. Business disputes are not that different than marital disputes. They can be very emotional but there are court mechanisms that can assist. This Article is going to look at the context of corporations under the Business Corporations Act, and not partnerships under the Partnerships Act.
Step One: Look At your Shareholder Agreement
Ideally when you set up your company you had a Unanimous Shareholders Agreement drafted. A well drafted shareholders agreement can deal with disputes, and, if things get too bad, allow an exit from the company. For more information on Unanimous Shareholder Agreements, check out our article: https://www.flodenward.com/post/alberta-business-law-unanimous-shareholder-agreements
Step two If you don't have an Agreement (or even if you do), Consider talking to a Lawyer
There are remedies available under the Business Corporations Act (oppression and derivative actions to name two), that can allow you to turn to the courts to get an order to sell the business, or obtain transparency from the other side. As things escalate, it is not an uncommon tactic to lock the other party out of the business. Lawyers can sometimes help de-escalate the situation as well, and can help advise on remedies available under any agreements.
If you are involved in a shareholder dispute please feel free to contact us.
The information contained in this article is not legal advice. No solicitor client relationship is formed through this article. The reader is encouraged to retain counsel for advice in these matters.