Going into business with family or friends can be a great experience. What could be better than being able to have your co-workers or business partners be people that you truly care about? While it can be great to work with family and friends to accomplish business goals, it can also lead to major problems. This is often, in part, because people fail to formalize business relationships when working with people they know well. For example, if you are going to hire your brother to do some work at your retail store, you might think that you do not need to spell out the terms of the deal in a contract--and that can get you into trouble.
Fans of the singer Shakira may have heard that her ex-boyfriend has filed a very large lawsuit against her. He is seeking $100 million from the star, claiming that he helped to build her international success and was the driving force behind some of her biggest hits.
Shakira has denied the claims in legal documents, stating that the two met in 2000 when she already had established her career. She does admit that her ex-boyfriend did serve as one of her many business advisers, but that she only brought him on board in 2005 because he was unemployed at the time.
He, however, claims that he convinced the star to record one of her biggest hits, "Hips Don't Lie." And that he helped her seal a $300 million deal as well as inspired her to write the 2010 World Cup anthem, "Waka, Waka."
While we do not know yet how this case will turn out, it is an example of how important it is to define business relationships in writing, and it is generally best to do so under the guidance of a business and commercial law attorney. Of course, it is impossible to avoid disputes entirely, and when disputes do arise it is again important to seek legal representation.
Source: Today, "Shakira sued for $100 million by ex-boyfriend," Bruna Nessif, April 18, 2013
- Our law firm in New Jersey represents business owners and others in business litigation as well as for business formation and planning matters.