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Just like individuals, businesses can incur legal claims. Defamation, outstanding debts, intellectual property, and other claims represent the financial interests of a business. Business owners and board members often have a fiduciary duty to stakeholders to pursue the company’s financial interest in these claims. Failure to pursue these claims can subject individual fiduciaries to civil liability—and, in the case of fraud, the potential of criminal liability.
Here are some common legal claims that businesses hold:
Defamation: Whether it is written libel or spoken slander, defamation of a business can cost a business goodwill and publicity. When these result in decreased business and other measurable losses, the business holds a legal claim against the party which defamed it.
Debts: Whether it is another business, a customer, or another source of debt, the business holds a financial interest regarding outstanding money owed. It is up to the business fiduciaries to determine whether the cost of recovery exceeds the value of the debt.
Intellectual Property: Business owners hold a fiduciary duty to conduct thorough due diligence of any intellectual property before it is acquired as an asset of the business. Intellectual property is an asset which gives rise to a fiduciary duty of protection, while infringements of this asset may result in legal causes of action.
Breaches of Contract: Both a company’s own breach of contract and failure to prevent breaches of contract against the company are liabilities that a business must mitigate.
Negligence: Failure to act as a reasonably prudent businessperson can expose a business to liability for negligence. Stakeholders in the business can hold civil claims of negligence against the business as a whole, or against individual fiduciary agents and business owners.
Attorney Andrew Weisblatt has been helping business owners protect their legal interests for 25 years. Learn why business owners across the greater Houston area trust attorney Weisblatt’s legal knowledge and experience. Call (713) 714-4634 to schedule your free phone consultation with a Houston business law attorney today. We will help you review and protect all legal and financial interests of your business.Tags: business law in tx