i took over a business after both partners passed away. but before i did one of the clients had left. now 10 months later he has come and wants money back because he said he didn't get all the services. although the lady that was working here was suppose to have done it, but she quit and he let her keep doing his bookkeepping. So would i have to give hime any money back?
2 Answers from Attorneys
Would seem to depend upon what obligations that you agreed to assume (if any) when you "took over" this business.
There are many questions to follow up your question.
First, what do you mean when you say you "took over" the business? Did you purchase the business? Does someone else own the business, but have you run it? It *sounds like you have 100 percent ownership of the business and I am assuming that going forward. I am also assuming the business is a registered entity like a corporation, llc or llp.
Second, do you know the extent of the services were promised by the business to the client in exchange for money? Assuming you do and also that the client received less than 100 percent of what they bargained for, I think you start with the position that the business owes what the business promised to do. Thus, the business itself could be liable for any services it did not provide to the client.
So long as the business is incorporated, you are *probably not liable individually to the client. There are exceptions to every rule in the law of course.
I think the best advice from a business stand point is to communicate with the client, evaluate their complaint, and try to come up with a workable compromise that is satisfactory to both parties. At the end of the day, you want to keep your clients as happy as possible.
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