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What are my legal rights if I am a partner who is 50/50 but no legal contract was drawn up?

Valley Springs, CA |

My partner and I opened a store together over a year ago, it is a 50/50 and since we were not getting along, we decided to dissolve the business and she was going to open up her own store in that same location. We only had two weeks to go, she got in a hurry I guess and changed the locks on the store doors, changed the credit card machine to directly deposit into her personal account, and I am out now in the cold. Our names are on everything together, the tenant lease, bus license, etc., except for one important license which was the resale license, see I have another store 30 min from this one and I own that by myself, named this store after that one - how can she run the store with me not there when I hold the license not her? HELP ME SOMEBODY GET HER OUT!!!!!

Attorney Answers 3


Disagreements between partners can be very dicey situations particularly where there is no written agreement governing the partnership.

You should strongly consider working with an attorney to navigate through the situation and also to memorialize all of the decisions between you and your partner, especially who has rights to the licenses originally procured for your partnership. Ultimately, everything that the two of you decide should be reduced to writing as to avoid any confusion.

Further, often partners overlook the reality that both of their names are on certain documents such as leases, and that both remain on the hook for a breach of the lease in the event that the partner remaining in the location does fulfill his or her obligations. A lawyer would be able to help you negotiate out of the lease, or provide some sort of indemnification between former partners.

The information in this posting is for general information purposes only. No part of this posting should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing of this information does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.

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Thank you I am guessing that is the direction I have to go, I just wonder what I need to post on the door of the consignment shop letting customers know they have to pick up their items because the store ishutting down, even if she changed the name - doesnt those consignors need to get their belongings then re consign when/if she does in fact open up another store in the same location, which is her intent.


You should consult with a business law attorney as soon as possible to assist you with this dispute before it gets further out of control. Oral agreements are enforceable, but it is more difficult to prove the terms of the agreement when it is not in writing.

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This is an ideal situation for mediation, whether in our geographical region or via one of the many low cost or free "conference call" mediaiton services. The key here is to move forward in a process that allows for a fair and reasonable transition....any questions?

By Grace...
Shawn Jackson ESQ. (707) 584-4529
Business Development Attorney EMAIL:

No communication resulting herein shall create an attorney-client relationship unless a separate retainer agreement is signed by attorney and client. The information provided neither is legal advice nor is it conveyed in the course of an attorney-client relationship, but is intended merely as a general overview with regard to the subject matter covered. You should not act upon this information without seeking professional counsel such as any attorney in this office in a subsequent email communication (agreement) and the formation of an attorney client relationship.

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