My partner who owns 51% has opened a corporate bank account where i as a 49% owner have no access.
Woodland Hills, CA |
Also, i went to the bank and had them put a freeze on the account yet my partner still wont add me nor release any money to me. What rights or power do i have to get access to the money i am owed for work we have done.
Without knowing more about your corporation and business, whether you are an officer or director, and what compensation arrangements might be in place for the work you have done, it is not possible to answer this question.
I strongly suggest you meet with a lawyer experienced in inter-shareholder disputes to discuss this matter. There obviously is an enormous amount of distrust between you and your co-shareholder right now. My experience in this area teaches me that a prolonged dispute between shareholders in a close corporation like this presents a serious risk of destroying the business.
There are a number of us on AVVO with experience in this area. I strongly suggest you contact one of us at your earliest opportunity to discuss this matter.
I agree with Mr. Perry's answer. Unfortunately, unless your "partner" is cooperative, you may have to resort to the court to exercise and enforce your legal rights. Those rights will depend on many things, none of which are mentioned in your question. Your question indicates that things between you are about as bad as they can get. You need to consult and retain counsel to protect your interests as a minority shareholder.
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Yes, it is true that you did not include enough information to answer this question, but there are some facts that can be deduced from the information you did provide and some law which probably applies to your facts. As a minority shareholder, you are owed a fiduciary (the highest possible) duty by the majority shareholder. He controls the company by virtue of his majority interest, but he cannot act in a manner which is designed to damage your interests. Your claim for compensation for work performed requires more information. Are you supposed to be paid hourly, salary, by the job or are you supposed to share in the profits of the company with no direct compensation for your work? As indicated by the other attorneys, get a lawyer to review your rights.
I respectfully disagree about the fiduciary duties between shareholders in California. It is a very limited fiduciary duty. Fiduciary duty between directors is far more extensive.
You may need a litigator to sort this out. After a complaint is filed, I personally would suggest mediation in an effort to find a win-win instead of litigation which is inherently win-lose. If there is no progress in mediation, at least you have started the ball rolling towards a trial date.
The above is general legal and business analysis. It is not "legal advice" but analysis, and different lawyers may analyse this matter differently, especially if there are additional facts not reflected in the question. I am not your attorney until retained by a written retainer agreement signed by both of us. I am only licensed in California. See also avvo.com terms and conditions item 9, incorporated as if it was reprinted here.