Choosing the right business partner can be a tremendous asset. In many cases, people choose trusted friends, family members or former colleagues to develop their own opportunities.
Unfortunately, some professionals find out the hard way that their business partner was not as trustworthy as they thought. An unscrupulous business partner can create a dangerous amount of criminal liability.
Bad for business, bad for you
Depending on the type of partnership you have, most business partners can equally make decisions for the business. The idea behind this is that both partners have the same goals for the company and are making choices that will further the business’s success.
When your partner starts engaging in criminal behavior related to the business, such as embezzlement or money laundering, state and federal authorities may begin with the presumption that both partners knew about the activity, even if your responsibilities are different from your partner’s.
For better or worse
Partners are supposed to look out for the business’s best interests and make decisions to build its success. As your company experiences profit, both partners get to share in the success.
Whether it is merely a bad business decision or something more serious, like embezzlement, business partners are typically responsible for each other’s actions. Unfortunately, when your business partner commits a crime involving your company, it can implicate you, as well.