If you are in a business partnership, assets covered by the partnership contract cannot and should never be taken without the approval of all the partners. Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for a partner to fail to live up to their fiduciary obligation to the partnership and end up accessing finances or other business assets without the knowledge and consent of the other partners.
If you suspect that a partner is stealing from the business, you need to act as soon as possible. Theft from the business may be a criminal act. It can also lead to a civil claim to recover the misappropriated funds as well as other damages that result from the partner’s actions. But how do you know your partner is dipping their hand in the partnership’s cookie jar?
Here are two warning signs to look out for if you suspect partnership theft.
They are keeping important business information off your reach
If you are in a partnership, you need to know what is going on in the business on a day-to-day basis. If your partner is withholding some information from you, say sales or inventory, it is likely they have something to hide. There is absolutely no reason why your partner should withhold any partnership-related information from you.
They are not giving clear answers to your questions
It is not uncommon to have a partner who has a set of skills that you do not possess. However, if your partner is dismissive when you ask questions that touch on their areas of expertise or if they are taking time to respond, then you need to find out what is going on.
Protecting your rights
Getting into a partnership with a dishonest person can be disheartening. If you suspect that your partner is stealing from the business, you need to figure out how to protect your rights and interests.