I am a small business owner of 9 years, a vintage clothing store, in Manhattan. I opened a second store with a partner on a verbal agreement basis only, we did co-sign tax papers as a partnership. For the partnership we split the costs of building out the store. The agreement was based on the fact we would both bring in business to the store, based on our seperate areas of expertise. The store offers mens retial and home design. However she has yet to bring any home design business and does not actively seek out clients (new or former). So the revenue that the store generates is solely from my half of the business-mens retail. Secondly for the "build out" of the store, she insisted on hiring a contractor that she is currently in an extra-martial affair with, paid him in-advance and he has to this date not compelted the work, though the store was able to open, but the opening which was covered by local press was forced to delay its scheduled opening date. Can I sue for breach of agreement without a wrtitten partnership agreement?
3 Answers from Attorneys
Yes, although it would have been more convenient to have your agreement spelled out in writing, an agreement need not be in a signed contract. You both acted upon your "agreement" by doing various things that indicate that an agreement exists.
I concur with my colleague. You can sue and bring evidence whether direct or incidental as to the parties' intentions. Since you are currently in a partnership you may be exposed to additional liability from your landlord, customers and suppliers. This needs to be addressed as soon as possible and I highly recommend that you consult with an attorney admitted to practice in NY.
Feel free to contact my office at your earliest convenience.
Roman R. Fichman, Esq.
www.TheLegalist.com │ @TheLegalist
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Disclaimer: This posting has been written for educational purposes only and was not meant to be legal advice and should not be construed as legal advice. You should always consult an attorney admitted to practice in your jurisdiction for specific advice.
As a Franchise Attorney I concur with the other attorney answers. Many partnership agreements are oral. It appears you need to take some immediate action, so consult with a good business or franchise attorney in your area for specific advice.
Mr. Franchise - Kevin B. Murphy, B.S., M.B.A., J.D.
Franchise Foundations, a Professional Corporation
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