Shareholder Disputes Attorneys in Dayton, Ohio
Shareholder disputes are bound to happen. Business partnerships often feel strained when one partner is not carrying their weight. There can also be friction when partners disagree on operating the company, including disagreements over financial aspects of the business, employee relations, and more. Tension amongst business partners can lead to resentment, and even worse, one partner may try to push the other out of the company they built together.
At Duwel Law in Dayton, Ohio, we represent the interests of majority and minority shareholders and corporations. If your business is facing an internal dispute with a shareholder, reach out to us right away. With over 50 years of experience in business law, our firm proudly serves clients in Dayton, Ohio, and throughout Montgomery, Miami, Greene, Darke, and Warren counties.
Shareholder Rights in Ohio
When a person is a shareholder in a company or business, they have a number of different responsibilities and rights under the law. In Ohio, shareholder rights are codified to allow the following:
The right of voting power
The right of ownership
The right to transfer ownership
The right to dividends
The right to inspect corporate documents
The right to sue for wrongful acts
Causes of Shareholder Disputes
Because there are a wide variety of actions and different levels of ownership inherent in the position of shareholder, causes of shareholder disputes can be numerous. However, some of the most common causes occur when one shareholder (usually a minority shareholder) feels that their rights have been infringed. These usually manifest in the following disputes:
Breach of Fiduciary Duty
Under the law, owners, directors, and executives are supposed to put the interests of the business above their own personal interest. Shareholders also need to be kept up-to-date on the company’s finances. The company’s latest financial information needs to be provided to co-owners within a business.
Minority Shareholder Oppression
Often when there is a disagreement about the business, the majority owner(s) will use their majority interest in an attempt to impose their will upon the minority owner.
Breach of Shareholder Agreements
A breach of shareholder agreements or the articles of association occurs when contractual obligations are not fulfilled. When this happens, it can give rise to shareholder complaints.
Conflict of Interest Allegations
Conflicts of interest often arise with shareholder disputes. If a shareholder decides to act in their own personal interests instead of the interests of the business, conflict is bound to occur.
Options for Resolving Shareholder Disputes
While any dispute between shareholders is difficult, the good news is that there are a number of options available to resolve them. One of the easiest ways to resolve disputes is to address them before they happen. The best way to do this is with the help of a business attorney. A lawyer can help you carefully draft incorporation agreements, partnership agreements, articles of association, and shareholder agreements.
If a dispute does arise, an amicable resolution might be found in mediation. Shareholders also have the option to file a lawsuit or go into arbitration, but both of these solutions put the outcome in the hands of a third party (either a judge or an arbitrator).
While all of these options aim to resolve disputes, attempting to negotiate a workable compromise from the beginning is key. An experienced shareholder dispute attorney can advise you on what you can realistically hope to achieve in negotiating.
Shareholder Disputes Attorneys Serving Dayton, Ohio
Shareholder disputes are always difficult, and often escalate because the parties don’t understand how to keep their businesses operating smoothly. As experienced shareholder dispute attorneys, we are ready to advise you on how to move forward when dealing with a dispute between shareholders or directors. If you are a shareholder in the Montgomery, Miami, Greene, Darke, or Warren County area and find yourself in a dispute, contact Duwel Law for a consultation.