Your business partner, whether an individual or a corporate entity, holds a legally binding stake in your business. If they are caught stealing from the partnership, they can face prosecution, regardless of the nature of the relationship. Unauthorized appropriation of a company’s assets for personal gain constitutes theft.
Theft in business
There are different ways a business partner can steal from you:
- Physical theft: Takes items or cash belonging to the business without proper permission.
- Intellectual property theft: Unauthorized use of trade secrets and ideas owned by the business.
- Fraud: A serious offense where a business partner misuses money intended for business purposes for personal use or other unauthorized ventures.
- Embezzlement: Occurs when a partner in a position of trust unlawfully takes company assets, usually by accessing funds in a financial account.
- Breaching a fiduciary duty: Involves misappropriating funds in a trust.
These are just examples of how an individual or entity may steal from a business partner. Penalties may vary depending on the type of theft. For example, fraud is both a criminal and civil offense. It may lead to potential imprisonment and claims for damages.
If your business partner steals from you, you must report the theft immediately. This creates a record of what happened, how you found out and the evidence you have to prove it. Law enforcement will then investigate what caused the theft and assess the evidence you provided. This helps them decide on the case based on valid information.
You also have the right to take legal action against your business partner if they stole from you. You can sue your business partner for their theft and seek compensation for the damages they have caused. It does not matter if the partnership is between businesses, individuals or a mix of both. The important thing is that if they illegally take assets from the business for personal gain without authorization.
To pursue a lawsuit, consult an attorney who can guide you through the legal process. They can explain your rights and help you build a strong case against your partner.
Taking legal action can help you hold your partner accountable and recover the losses you have suffered due to their actions.