Unfortunately, not all business partnerships thrive, and there comes a point when co-owners must go their separate ways. Disagreements over business strategies, conflicting opinions on crucial decisions, or even criminal acts committed by one partner against the company or the other partner can lead to the dissolution of a partnership. On the other hand, some partnership dissolutions occur through mutual agreement and amicable decisions. Regardless of the cause, when joint owners decide they no longer wish to collaborate, a business divorce or partnership dissolution is often the necessary course of action.
A business divorce, known as the legal term for severing joint ownership, applies to various types of businesses, including privately owned companies, limited liability corporations, partnerships, and other joint ventures. Its purpose is to enable co-owners to pursue different paths. Often, time is of the essence in a business divorce, as it involves restructuring ownership and management to ensure the business continues operating despite the personal or legal disputes among the co-owners. Neglecting to address the continuation of business operations could jeopardize its viability and significantly diminish its value.
In some instances, the appointment of a responsible party becomes necessary to oversee business operations, as feuding partners often struggle to co-manage the company. Court proceedings may be required to appoint a "receiver" who will oversee business operations while the owners navigate their business divorce. Therefore, it is crucial for anyone seeking a business divorce to consult with an experienced attorney knowledgeable in these matters.
Dalbir Singh & Associates, P.C., comprises a reputable team of NY business divorce lawyers who possess extensive experience from successfully handling previous cases and a profound understanding of NY business divorce law. Their outstanding reputation in delivering high-quality business litigation precedes them and is evident in their track record of successful cases and satisfied clients.
If you find yourself involved in a business divorce, it is essential to take the necessary steps to protect your interests and your business. Hiring a divorce attorney is highly recommended when your business partner serves you with business divorce papers. An attorney can assist you in crafting a strong response tailored to your circumstances and, if handled effectively, initiate negotiation discussions that can potentially keep the case out of court—a desirable outcome in most situations.
On the other hand, if you are contemplating serving your business partner with business divorce papers, a skilled business lawyer can be invaluable in navigating the complexities of New York law. Particularly if your business operates as an LLC, consulting with a lawyer to review your corporation's laws is advantageous. LLC laws offer more limited options for initiating dissolution litigation compared to regular corporation laws. It is crucial to thoroughly examine your LLC's operating agreement to identify any contractual provisions that may be applicable.
Under New York corporate law, if you are considering alternatives to business divorce, such as buying out your partner, it may be possible to acquire their shares as a "disgruntled shareholder" once the dissolution proceedings commence.
The Benefits of Hiring a Business Divorce Lawyer
Engaging the services of a business divorce lawyer is vital for both or either co-owners embarking on a business divorce. A divorce lawyer can offer valuable assistance and expertise, facilitating your case with greater efficiency. They can provide the following services:
Handle corporate litigation.
Assist in resolving partnership and limited partnership disputes.
Aid in allegations of shareholder oppression.
Determine breaches of fiduciary duty and fraud.
Assist in asset separation.
Help divide business ownership interests.
Ensure the protection of business viability and ongoing operations during legal proceedings.
Furthermore, an attorney is instrumental when the business owners wish to avoid going to court. Resolving disputes outside of court is advantageous as it saves time and reduces expenses. An attorney can assist business partners in amicably dissolving their partnership through a voluntary dissolution when no disputes exist between the owners.
Dividing business assets, inventory, and debts is often the most challenging aspect of a partnership dissolution. Depending on the company's circumstances, partners' intentions for the business's future, and other factors, this process can be emotionally draining and highly stressful. Comparable to the division of marital property in a divorce, the division of a business is referred to as a business divorce. A qualified business divorce attorney can help diffuse disputes, provide valuation methodologies, and offer guidance in negotiating or litigating if necessary. A skilled lawyer possesses the knowledge and understanding of the legal system required to address all aspects of the law in order to conclude your case and finalize the dissolution of your business.Selling a Jointly Owned Business to a Third Party
In certain cases, joint business owners may decide to sell their business to a third party. However, this process can be complex and requires expert legal guidance. Whether it involves a complete dissolution of the company or the partners mutually agreeing to end business operations, dividing company assets and liabilities can become intricate, even when the partners are in consensus about terminating the partnership.
If one partner engages in criminal activity or mishandles company funds, it is crucial to seek the assistance of an experienced attorney to build a case against that partner. This is the only way to safeguard your interests and protect the company's future. It's important to note that you could also be implicated in any crimes committed, even if you were unaware of them. Consulting with a knowledgeable attorney is essential to evaluate your specific situation, determine if your partner was involved in any wrongful acts related to the joint business, and establish the best course of action. The sooner you address your concerns, the better, as your investment and the business itself may be at risk.
The cost of a business divorce can vary depending on factors such as the size of the business and the complexity of the case. While the average cost is estimated to range from $2,000 to $100,000, actual costs may exceed this estimate.
A retainer fee serves as a deposit or down payment for legal services. It guarantees that the lawyer will commence work on the case in good faith, with the remaining fees to be paid later. The retainer amount is typically based on the estimated number of hours the attorney anticipates spending on the case, multiplied by their hourly rate. The specific amount depends on factors such as the case's complexity and the attorney's experience. On average, retainer fees range from $500 to $5,000, but they can be higher in certain situations.
No, the retainer fee is non-refundable and functions as a deposit. As the lawyer works on the case, the number of hours expended (multiplied by their hourly rate) is deducted from the retainer. In most cases, the retainer is eventually depleted, and additional payments are required to continue the attorney's services.
Yes, a business name can be reused immediately after filing for dissolution. If partners decide to dissolve their business partnership, they can dissolve the business and subsequently establish a new company under the same name, solely owned by one of the partners. This approach allows for the retention of brand recognition and customer base.
No, a divorce does not automatically dissolve a business partnership between the two parties. The parties must take separate legal action through the courts to dissolve the business relationship. However, in some cases, divorced couples find it more manageable to maintain a business relationship even after their marriage ends.
Dalbir Singh & Associates, P.C. specializes in various areas of family law, including:
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