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Shareholders in Closely Held Businesses

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Much like a marital relationship, shareholders in closely held businesses, usually family owned, find themselves in disputes over distributions of profits, control, management and what is called “minority shareholder oppression.” Shareholder oppression occurs when a controlling majority shareholder “freezes” out the minority shareholders from participation in the corporation’s management. This happens many times because the majority shareholder may be abusing his or her fiduciary position of trust and sometimes stealing money from the corporation. We’ve represented both types of shareholders in these disputes, which often lead to a buyout of the other’s ownership interests.