When two or more like-minded people come together to start a business, the resulting entity is known as a partnership. When you get it right, a business partnership can propel your entrepreneurship journey to greater heights.
However, what happens if you learn that one of your partners is stealing from the business? Business theft can happen in a variety of ways. Here are partner actions that can amount to theft:
Misappropriation of trade secrets
Trade secrets, like customer data, marketing strategies, product designs and special recipes set a business apart and give it a competitive edge. If a partner takes away and uses these assets to advance their personal interests, they may be guilty of trade secret theft. Besides holding them liable for the resulting damages, you may also institute a civil or criminal lawsuit against a partner who steals the business’ trade secrets.
Fraud happens when one partner knowingly presents false information or facts to the other partner for financial gain. For instance, if a potential partner falsifies sales numbers or withholds critical information while negotiating a partnership deal, that could be fraud.
Embezzlement happens when a business partner misappropriates business funds and assets that are under their care. For instance, a partner can embezzle funds by exaggerating travel costs or going on fake business trips. Just like fraud, embezzlement can cost the business a lot of money.
No one envisions going to business with a dishonest person. Unfortunately, theft amongst business partners is not uncommon. If you discover that your partner is stealing from the business, you need to take appropriate steps to protect your investment and business interests. Contact Zarco Einhorn Salkowski, P.A. today and schedule a free consultation if you are caught up in a partnership dispute.