This is an odd one . . . a friend of mine wanted to open up an INTERNET business , but wanted to remain a " silent partner " . He wanted to partner with me so he could use my name . He did not want his employer at the time to know he was opening up his own business ( for numerous reasons ) . During this time my partner started using my email to correspond with vendors , customers etc . and pretended to be me . Out of the blue he decides that I should only get 10s , but still wants to be me . I said NO because that was not our agreement . After I said NO I started noticing revenues dip . I also noticed he opened up his own company doing the same thing we were doing . Now he tells me he is shutting down our business . Can he shut it down / sabotage revenues without my consent ?
I have tried to work things out with him, but ever since I said no to his new proposed revshare....he doesn't respond to my emails. Obviously he doesn't care how the business ends since no one knows it is his business. It is only my reputation that will be affected.
I don't think this a question for lawyers to answer in a public forum. Your description shows that you could well have participated in a fraud. You need to discuss your options in private with an attorney of your choosing.
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If the business is owned 50/50, and there is no resolution process for the deadlock, then the company could be shut down by a partner with a petition to a court for the dissolution of the company. You're facing an issue there because neither party can force the other do anything on behalf of the company.
If your partner is competing with the business with a new venture and no operating agreement permits such activity, you can file suit on behalf of the LLC to enjoin such behavior as it constitutes the usurping of the company's opportunity, and the partner has the duty of a fiduciary and loyalty to the company to bring these opportunities to the LLC. If the partner created the deadlock for purposes of creating a new business and cutting you out, you have a good claim against your partner, and your money damages would be based upon the profitability of the LLC inclusive of the side-business endeavors. Seek an attorney in this regard.
Seemingly, you have good bargaining position to convince your partner to change his ways as the publication of his participation in a business outside of his employment could be in violation of his employer's policies, and subject him to termination, and there is a possibility that his employer would find out about such public dispute. Such a dispute could be in fact jeopardize his employment.
I'm not sure what you've meant with the statement that you should get 10s, but you certainly have options to stop your partner's side business and maintain the operations of the LLC, although none of these options seemingly give you the definitive right to ensure the long-life success of the business (other than to stop the outside competition); you didn't contemplate disagreements and devise a plan to resolve them with an operating agreement. You need to devise the upper hand in your circumstances and exact what you want through leverage.
Be creative, good luck.
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When you decided to participate in a business designed to deceive others, this is a predicable result. It is highly doubtful you put anything into the capital of the company and even less that that the membership interests were correctly issued. It is hard to imagine what you "legal" damages are. Letting someone use your identity to deceive others is a recipe for disaster.
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You have uphill battle. Failure to comply with legal formalities always result in such battle. I agree with all attorneys. If you are committed to follow Mr. Alexander's advise, make sure to hire a damn good attorney who is experienced in such matters and solely practices such area of law.
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I see nothing in your fact pattern that would lead me to conclude you have established a formal business entity of any kind. That said, as a former deputy district attorney, I would see both a civil and criminal lawyer for your own protection.
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