Salt Lake City Closely Held Business & Shareholder Dispute Litigation Attorneys
With an extensive history of advising and representing closely held businesses and their shareholders, owners, partners and members, Larsen & Rico provides litigation services across the range of issues that closely held businesses face. With the vast majority of businesses — 95 percent of them, in fact — in the United States being closely held, we work with the full spectrum of closely held companies, including:
Closely held businesses are those owned by a relatively small number of people or entities. These businesses do not have readily marketable stocks. In addition, with disputes over control intense arguments and litigation follow, particularly when families disagree about the course of the business, the potential for personal liability, or the succession and sale of the company. Disagreements may arise for any number of reasons, including family animosity, uneven financial commitment or “sweat equity” among the owners, a stakeholder’s incompetence, or disparities in compensation.
Although many of the major disputes that occur can be resolved through proper review of documentation, negotiation, and mediation, more complex problems requiring litigation can arise in other circumstances. Examples of these disputes include:
- Financial disputes. When members, owners or other stakeholders neglect their financial obligations and duties to the other stakeholders in the closely held business, resulting in breaches of the fiduciary duties owed to each other, such as excessive compensation and improper reimbursement for personal loans and expenses by a majority owner
- Succession planning issues. When stakeholders who would succeed current owners or members launch into disputes regarding the future of the business, often commencing litigation against each other to obtain control and direct the company, including when a partnership is alleged to exist or a stakeholder holding a minority interest refuses to honor commitments
- Valuation disputes. Upon purchase or sale of a minority or 50 percent interest, when the minority or co-owner asserts a differing value of shares or member interest
Larsen & Rico’s attorneys have extensive experience representing majority, minority and 50 percent interest stakeholders, members, and business owners in closely held business disputes at every phase of litigation. We review strategies and options to determine the best path depending on the portion of ownership, rights set forth in formation and operating documents, importance and value to the company, and other factors.