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Houston Corporate & Commercial Law – Partner & Shareholder Agreements


Businesses of all sizes rely on legally enforceable shareholder and partner agreements and contracts to govern the activities of those involved. Such agreements are a cornerstone of corporate law, business law and – in certain cases – consumer law and real estate law.

Even in two- or three-person partnerships, binding, equitable legal arrangements can dramatically reduce the likelihood of partner disputes that distract from the company’s mission and threaten its finances. For larger private firms, which may have dozens or hundreds of shareholders, enforceable shareholder agreements are absolutely critical.

Partner Agreements and Shareholder Agreements in Waller, Fort Bend, and Harris County

It is important to remember that partnerships and shareholder-held corporations are not identical. However, both present similar considerations for principals and stakeholders.

Partnerships come in three common forms: general, limited and limited liability. In a general partnership, the partners each have an equal equity stake and level of control in the firm. In limited and limited liability partnerships, control and equity vary in accordance with the partnership agreement. To reduce the likelihood of a misunderstanding or dispute, it is in the best interest of all partners to ensure that this agreement is drafted and reviewed by an experienced attorney.

To raise capital, incentivize performance and delineate ownership, many firms offer shares of stock to registered stockholders. Certain types of shares come with voting rights that permit shareholders to influence the governance, activities and strategic direction of the company. It is critical for any shareholder-held corporation to draw up standardized, enforceable shareholder agreements that outline the nature of each share class, the par value of each share, the rights and responsibilities of each shareholder, restrictions on and provisions for sale or transfer, and any other relevant considerations.

Work with a Seasoned Houston Business Attorney

Shareholder and partner disputes can quickly become acrimonious, particularly in closely held firms and cases in which the parties had a previous relationship. Without proper agreements in place, it is exceedingly difficult to solve such issues without resorting to costly and emotionally charged commercial litigation.

Whether you are involved with a closely held partnership operating out of a Galveston office or run a midsize private firm with numerous shareholders throughout the greater Houston area, it is critical that you govern your company’s affairs – and the actions of those involved – with legally enforceable partner and shareholder agreements. If you need assistance drafting these agreements or wish to understand your options during a potential dispute, I am happy to evaluate the facts of your case and provide any guidance necessary.

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To learn more about what the Law Office of Henry Jakob can do for your business law and commercial litigation needs, including issues involving partner agreements, shareholder agreements, and shareholder disputes, please schedule a consultation by calling 713.640.5700 or filling out the online contact form at your convenience.

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