I have owned a tattoo shop for 10 years, and recently decided to travel. I told my employees that if they wanted the shop for themselves than they would have to pay me for it. While on the road i discovered that they had changed the name, and everything else in it, and have not payed me anything for it. I told them that if they didn't pay me for the shop itself then they still need to be paying me for the business they are getting while I am gone, and I have yet to receive anything.
Yes, you can sue to recover damages, although you may not be able to recover the business as that might require a mandatory injunction. You need to consult a business litigator who can advise you on the relief available to you, possibly a negative injunction prohibiting them from entering the premises and providing services to your customers. Gather together all the docs showing your ownership of the biz and stating what you told the employees. Then show them to the attorney.
DISCLAIMERâ€”This answer is for informational purposes only under the AVVO system, its terms and conditions. It is not intended as specific legal advice regarding your question. The answer could be different if all the facts were known. This answer does not establish an attorney client relationship. I am admitted only in California. (Bryant) Keith Martin sbbizlaw.com