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Resolving Disputes Between Co-owners of a Small Company

Co-owners who had common goals when they started their business may find their paths veering in different directions as time passes. Whether it’s a clash in management styles or business plans, a dispute between co-owners of a small company can interfere with day-to-day operations and possibly imperil the company’s future. Swift and effective resolution of such disputes can be vital to the company’s continued well-being.

Disputes in a small company often arise when one co-owner believes another co-owner has taken actions or made decisions not in the best interests of the business or its owners. Examples include:

  • One owner allegedly engaged in self-dealing by making corporate decisions that benefitted his or her personal finances rather than the business.
  • One owner allegedly failed to seek input from other owners or interested parties before making an important business decision.
  • One owner believes he or she was not adequately informed of what was happening in the business or was intentionally excluded from management decisions by the other owners.

Other common disputes concern employment and compensation matters, business operations, purchase or sale of real property or other assets, investments and tax planning. Because small business co-owners often commit a great deal of their personal assets to their companies, these disputes often prove particularly contentious. It can be challenging for the parties to think rationally and make good decisions.

Co-owners who cannot resolve their issues on their own may require legal assistance. Dispute resolution methods like mediation are sometimes effective. But if immediate action is needed to protect the company or an owner, litigation may be the best option. A business litigation attorney can help you obtain emergency relief such as temporary restraining orders, preliminary injunctions and declaratory judgments. A qualified attorney can also guide you through pretrial discovery and other aspects of the litigation process, with a view to achieving a fair outcome without significantly disrupting business affairs.

At the Chicago business litigation firm of Schwartz Law Group, LLC, our seasoned litigators offer substantial legal knowledge and experience as well as a level of personal attention that you just won’t find at big firms. We will support you at every stage of the litigation process, including appeals and post-judgment litigation. To schedule a consultation with a member of our skilled legal team, call us 312-436-1442 today or contact us online.

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