Partnership Disputes In Florida: Misuse Of Partnership Assets
Business partners are forced to put a lot of faith in each other. A good relationship requires trust and good faith by all parties. If one partner misuses the assets of the business, it can cause serious damage to the partnership—it could also destroy professional and personal relationships. In Florida, there are remedies available to hold a business partner liable for the misappropriation of company assets. In this blog post, our Miami partnership dispute lawyers discuss misuse of partnership asset cases in Florida and explain the steps you should take if you believe your rights were violated.
What is Misappropriation of Partnership Assets?
In legal parlance, the term misappropriation is used to describe “unauthorized use.” The misappropriation or misuse of partnership assets can take many different forms. Some notable examples include:
- Falsification of books, financial records, or receipts/invoices;
- Improper use of inventory;
- Claiming false expenses; and
- Embezzlement of partnership funds.
Know Your Rights: Partnership Agreement and Florida Law
You have the right to take action to address the misappropriation of partnership funds or property. In a partnership dispute case, the partnership agreement is always the first place to look. There may be specific provisions regarding the use of the company’s assets. Additionally, business partners have some protections against misappropriation under state law. As an example, Florida Statutes § 620.8404 requires business partners to “account to the partnership and hold as trustee for the partnership any property, profit, or benefit derived.” A partner who misuses partnership assets may be held accountable for the financial harm they caused to the business.
Three Steps to Take If You Believe Your Partner is Misusing Assets
If you believe that one of your business partners is improperly misusing company assets, it is essential that you take proactive steps to protect your business and your personal financial interests. Here are three things to do:
- Document Everything: Gather, secure, and organize any evidence you have that demonstrates the misappropriation of partnership assets. If you are going to bring a legal claim in the future, you will need strong supporting evidence.
- Address the Matter: Consider your options to address the matter internally. Minor violations—perhaps the improper expense of a personal meal—may be best handled with a conversation about the proper procedures. This is best when misuse is unintentional or relatively minor.
- Take Legal Action: Finally, you should always be ready to escalate the matter—especially if your partnership has or could suffer significant financial damage. Call a Florida partnership lawyer for immediate help with your case.
Schedule a Confidential Consultation With a Partnership Law Attorney in Florida
At Pike & Lustig, LLP, our Florida business law attorneys have deep experience representing clients involved in partnership disputes. If you have questions about the misuse of partnership assets, we are here to help. Contact us today for a confidential assessment of your case. From our Miami and West Palm Beach offices, we represent business partners all around Southeastern Florida, including in Fort Lauderdale, Miami Beach, Coral Gables, Boca Raton, Palm Beach Gardens, and Jupiter.