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Can I Sue for a Business Partner for Failing to Devote Sufficient Time to the Business?


Business partners are teammates. For a business partnership to meet its full potential, all parties need to carry their weight. Typically, this means investing adequate resources into the business. You may be wondering: Do I have a claim against my business partner if they are not paying enough attention to the business? In Florida, the answer is “it depends”—and your partnership agreement is the most important factor. In this blog post, our Miami business partnership dispute attorney explains the key things to understand about your ability to sue a business partner for failing to devote sufficient time to the business.

Business Partners Owe Each Other Limited Fiduciary Duties Under Florida Law 

As background, it is important to understand how Florida law regulates business partnerships. In Florida law, business partners owe each other—and their business entity—limited fiduciary duties. Although these duties are limited in scope, they are essential for maintaining integrity and trust. Most notably, business partners owe a duty of care and duty of loyalty. Failure to devote sufficient time to the business may or may not be a breach of the duty of care.

Your Partnership Agreement in the Primary Remedy for Failure to Devote Resources 

When addressing a business partner’s failure to commit adequate time and resources, your partnership agreement is the fundamental tool for resolution. A partnership agreement is a legally binding document that—assuming it is drafted properly—should outline each partner’s obligations, including their duty to commit time and resources to the business.

If the partnership expressly stipulates the expected contributions and one party falls short, this breach forms the basis for legal recourse. A well-drafted agreement may even provide specific remedies for such situations, potentially avoiding the need for litigation. That being said, if the agreement is vague or silent on these duties, proving breach of obligation can be more challenging. In such cases, the more general duty of care and duty of loyalty that business partners owe to one another as Florida law may govern the claim.

A Partnership Lawyer Can Review Your Case and Help You Take the Appropriate Action 

Partnership law is complicated. You do not have to take on a legal case involving a business partner’s failure to commit sufficient resources on your own. An experienced partnership lawyer will be able to review your case with a focus on the nuances on partnership law and the specific facts. The best course of action is highly fact specific. It could be negotiation, mediation, or litigation.

 Set Up Your Consultation With a Top Tier Florida Partnership Dispute Lawyer

At Pike & Lustig, LLP, our Florida partnership lawyers are committed to helping our clients find solutions that work. If you have questions about bringing a complaint against a business partner for failing to devote sufficient time or resources to the business, we can help. With an office in Miami and an office in West Palm Beach, our firm handles partnership litigation throughout South Florida.

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