My husband and I own a restaurant llc (7years) He got mad at me 1 week ago and kicked me out of the restaurant as well as moved out of the house. He recently removed money from our joint business acct which was my only acct and opened another without me on it. Can he legally do this?
An attorney is going to have to review the operating agreement of your LLC to ascertain how decisions and the like are to be made, Ownership per se does not mean that you have voting power under the operating agreement. This is why the document would be reviewed by counsel, among other reasons.
The foregoing is not legal advice nor is it in any manner whatsoever meant to create or impute an attorney/client relationship.
This will come down to the wording of two sources: first, your LLC operating agreement, and, if there is no such agreement in writing, the North Carolina Limited Liability Company Act (N.C.G.S. Chapter 57D). Absent an express agreement to the contrary, you both are "managers" in your capacity as "members," with equal powers commensurate to your equal ownership interests. While a member does not owe a fiduciary duty to another member, a manager does owe such a duty to members, and members and managers always owe a fiduciary duty to the company itself. Thus, it is very possible that moving the money in the manner that your husband did could be a breach of fiduciary duty to the company. Also, it is highly unlikely that you can be unilaterally shut out of the business, since such a move would require an express agreement, and even in that instance, some kind of procedure for ejecting a member. As prior counsel have suggested, you should consult with a North Carolina business/LLC lawyer for precise guidance. Avvo's "Find a Lawyer" feature might be helpful to you as a resource. I hope this situation can be amicably resolved shortly.
I agree with my colleagues. The first step is to review the operating agreement to see if a member can be removed and, if so, under what circumstances. In the absence of an operating agreement, you need to review applicable LLC law. Generally speaking, it would be unusual for one 50% member to have the power and authority to remove another 50% member without that member's consent. You should consult with an experienced Business Attorney to assess your rights and options.
The foregoing discussion does not establish an attorney-client relationship, is qualified by the limited facts presented above, and should not be relied upon as legal advice. To obtain definitive legal advice upon which one can rely necessitates retaining an attorney who is qualified in this particular area of the law.
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