Q: Can a partner be forced to "move on" if no partner agreement was signed?
I work at a restaurant in Florida where the GM -- we'll call him John -- is also a part owner of the establishment. Another owner -- we'll call him Chuck -- is also the owner of the building -- from whom the space is rented. And finally, another owner is the chef -- We'll call him Rob. The staff, Rob and Chuck are in agreement that John is not holding up to his duties/responsibilities as a GM, is holding the restaurant back from its potential, and is bringing down staff morale. The problem is that, in the 11 years that the restaurant has been in business, John has refused to sign a partnership agreement with Rob and Chuck, and early in the business, they made John the 'president' of the company. Without a partnership agreement/contract, do Chuck and Rob have any legal recourse that would allow them to either force John to fulfill his duties or force him to "move on"?
A: This fishy "Contracts, Business Formation and Business Law " story sounds like it was taken right out of a business law course at Santa Fe Community College; otherwise why would you--a mere observer--be interested in knowing how "John" and "Chuck" should show "Rob" the door?
A: It appears that you have a "de facto" partnership. You could once more attempt to negotiate a written "de jure" partnership or other business arrangement together with a buy-out contract. Or, perhaps more realistically you could file a lawsuit for the purpose of dissolution of the "de facto" partnership. You obviously need the help of an attorney with experience in business law.
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