I have given my business partner $11,000 towards a small business start-up for a tractor truck but now he is not being cooperative?

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I have given my business partner $11,000 towards a small business start-up for a tractor truck but now he is not being cooperative?

We are supposed to be 50 percent ownership but he has majority of the information and just isn’t cooperating with what we initially agreed on. There is no contract, just the 2 checks that I wrote for the $11,000 for the truck purchase. Where can I get help?

Asked on May 1, 2014 under Business Law, Texas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

You can try to sue him to recover the money you paid or other compensation (e.g. any profits you should have made to date) based on one or more of the following theories:

1) Breach of contract: oral contracts (i.e. unwritten ones) are enforceable in many cases, though proving them can be more difficult.

2) Promissory estoppel: he made certain promises to you to get you to give him money; if it was reasonable for you to rely on those promises at the time he made them, and if in reliance you gave him money (as you write that you did), a court may hold that the promises are enforceable against him.

3) Unjust enrichment: it is unfair or unjust to let him keep the money without giving you the thing(s) he was supposed to; courts sometimes will prevent this sort of injustice.

For $11,000, it is well worth it to hire an attorney to help you.


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