Legal Wranglings: Business partnership goes sour

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April 15, 2016

A businessman claims he lost millions of dollars in a business venture because his business partner has been robbing him. He said he lives in England, and when he visited Jamaica seven years ago, one of his friends suggested that they could open a supermarket.

"We worked out the cost for rental of the building as well as the cost for the goods, and when I returned to England I sent my half share of the cost," he said.

"The plan was for my friend, who is my business partner, to be the manager and be paid a monthly salary. I have been to Jamaica twice per year since we started the business and things were going very well. The plan we worked out was that at the end of each year, the profit would be divided between us.

"The business has been going on for the last seven years. My friend has for four years followed the plan of dividing the profit. However, over the last three years he has not been following the plan.

UNEQUAL DIVISION

"We have hired an accountant who does a good job for us and there are no losses. However, I notice that my partner has not been dividing the profit equally. He gives me only a quarter of the profit and he is taking the rest.

"I came to Jamaica in February and I confronted him on the matter of not sharing the profit equally. I was shocked when he told me that I was being unfair to him because I wanted to get half of the profit when he was the one running the business.

"I gave him a copy of the agreement we had signed that he would be paid a monthly salary as the manager and the profit would be shared equally between us. He said that could work no longer because I was not helping in the day-to-day operation of the business. I told him we could pay someone to manage the business if he had a problem. He has decided that he is not paying me my half of the profit and was only giving me a quarter.

"I am so upset with his attitude that I do not want to continue doing business with him. I don't even know what steps to take to end this business deal," he said.

You should consult a lawyer who will advice you on the proper action to be taken in the matter. You can ask your friend to purchase your share in the business or the business can be sold so you can get your entitlement. You could also sue your partner for the amount owing for your profit from the business.

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