At first, you may not believe that your business partner could be purposely doing anything to harm you or the business that you have worked so hard to build together. When you realize that your partner seems to be taking actions that are adversely affecting your business, you are likely to feel angry, betrayed, and unsure about how you should proceed. If you want to hold him or her responsible for these actions, however, you will have to identify and preserve evidence that definitively shows how your partner is bilking you and the business. Whether it is through embezzlement, fraud, or other similar types of behavior, you need the evidence to back up your allegations and protect the remaining business assets.
You should start by taking a close look at your business records, including bank statements, accounting ledgers, credit card statements, receipts from any type of transactions, inventory accounts, and ATM withdrawals. If your business partner is truly cheating you, there will be unexplained discrepancies in those records for which only your partner can account. You should maintain copies of these records in a safe location to which your partner has no access. It is all too common for records to suddenly disappear when a business partner suspects that you may be investigating him or her for fraudulent or improper activities.
At the same time, you should be take precautions to prevent the further dissipation of your assets. Institute tight controls on your business accounting practices by removing your partner’s unilateral control over or access to accounts, cash, and assets. Require dual signatures on business checks, dual keys to the company safe, and dual keys to your place of business or any locations housing inventory. Limit any type of financial authority only to those employees who absolutely need it to run the business. If financial transactions occur on a daily basis in your place of business, you may want to install cameras to capture any inappropriate behavior by your business partner.
At Williams Mestaz, L.L.P., we focus our efforts on representing your business interests throughout the duration of your case, including disputes arising from the bad actions of your business partner. When you need help that only an experienced business litigation attorney can offer you, contact Williams Mestaz, L.L.P., at (602) 256-9400.