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How Do I Tell if My Business Partner is Stealing from Me?

A common trigger for partnership and shareholder disputes relates to one partner stealing from the other. Sometimes the theft and misappropriation of partnership and company assets is obvious and other times it is not. Common methods that a business partners sometimes use to steal or misappropriate assets, include:

  1. Excess Distributions - That is they take distributions greater than they give to other partners. So if you are 50%/50% partners then your distributions. However, sometimes one partner will take more than his or her share and hide the difference in the financial statements. One potential warning sign that you should look out for relates to your corporate tax returns - if you are equal partners than the capital balance stated on your tax return should be the same for you and your partner. If they are not the same then there may be a problem.
  2. Personal Expenses - This is where your partner expenses personal items without you knowing. These personal expenses may buildup over time on an American Express card, automobile lease payments or health insurance and you may not know what is going on. So check out your bank records and credit card statements.
  3. Lock-Out - That is your partner just locks you out of the business and treats you as if you dont own anything.

Learn More

Order a Complimentary Copy of Charles N. Internicola's book "The Partnership Dispute Guide" and learn more about protecting your partnership and equity interests.

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