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Resolving a Partnership Dispute: Requesting an Accounting

Disputes between business partners can sometimes turn ugly. Relatively minor issues can spiral into much larger problems, and the business relationship can suffer as a result. A dispute can become costly and all around counterproductive. A legal strategy known as an ‘accounting’ can potentially help you reach a resolution in your partnership dispute. If you have any questions about whether or not requesting an ‘accounting’ makes sense for your partnership dispute, please contact an experienced West Palm Beach commercial litigation attorney for immediate legal assistance.

What is an Accounting?

An accounting is a comprehensive reviews all business transactions that are related to the partnership. It will be conducted under the oversight of a Florida court. Further, upon the conclusion of the accounting, the court will have the power to divide assets and liabilities, and adjust partnership accounts, to create a fair resolution to the partnership dispute.

Who Qualifies for an Accounting?

Partnerships in Florida are governed by the Uniform Partnership Act of 1997 (UPA). When a partnership dispute arises, the UPA grants qualifying partners the right to request ‘an accounting’. Legal access to the ‘accounting’ remedy can be established whenever you can prove that you were involved in a business partnership that bestowed the respective parties with a fiduciary duty to each other. In some cases this part of the process will be fairly simple. If all parties agree that a legal partnership existed, then the legal qualification to bring the cause of action are fairly easily achieved. However, in cases where one partner to the dispute denies the existence of a fiduciary duty, then proving that you are qualified to use the accounting legal remedy becomes much more complicated.

The Accounting Process

Once you pass the qualification hurdle, your partnership dispute attorney will help you deal with the actual nuts and bolts of the accounting process. The process is notoriously detail intensive. The court will:

  • Comprehensively review all transactions related to the partnership;
  • Determine what obligations the parties still owe to each other; and
  • Determine whether or not any party is entitled to compensation.

For example, assume that your partnership dispute arose as a result of a few specific transactions. You believe that you are owed compensation from the other party because of those transactions. The court will be able to review those transaction, within the greater context of the business partnership, and will determine whether or not you were treated fairly. The court will have the power to grant you an equitable remedy in the event that the court deems that to be necessary. So, the court may grant you compensation. Fundamentally, that is the purpose of a partnership accounting. An independent expert, generally a specially appointed accountant, will take a deep look at the partnership’s business records, will take testimony from the parties, and will help the court determine a fair decision to resolve the dispute.

Need Legal Help?

At Pike & Lustig, LLP, our attorneys have extensive experience handling partnership disputes. We work hard to find cost effective and efficient solutions for our clients. If you have any questions, please contact our firm today by calling (561) 291-8298. We proudly serve businesses throughout South Florida, including in Boca Raton, Fort Lauderdale and Coral Springs.

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