It is common for disputes between co-owners in businesses to escalate. Sometimes this even leads to one of the co-owners unilaterally seizing control. If this happens to you, what are your options? The term "partner" in this article is used colloquially and not in its strict legal sense. It is intended to encompass the idea of co-owners, whether in a partnership or corporation
Look at the Shareholder or Partnership Agreement
The terms of any shareholder or partnership agreement may state what you can do in this case- although the locking out of a business partner is often not addressed.
Try to communicate
If things in your business relationship have deteriorated to the point of one partner locking the other out, it still may be worthwhile to try talking with the other partner. This is not always the case, however.
Retain Counsel and consider suing
There are a number of remedies which deal with this sort of situation. In a corporation it is shareholder oppression which is a very broad remedy. In a true partnership situation, if an agreement is lacking, it may be necessary to turn to the courts to divvy up or divide the partnership. Generally acting quickly is advisable.
If you require advice dealing with a business partner, 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.