While each business is unique the types of disputes that a business may face are similar. If you are involved in a business dispute that has resulted in litigation, you will likely encounter at least one of the following causes of action:
Breach of Contract
This is arguably the most common cause of action that arises in the context of business litigation. This is because almost all business owners will enter into a contract on behalf of the business at some point during the business’s life. In order to prevail on a breach of contract claim in North Carolina, you must prove that there was a valid contract between the business and the breaching party, the breaching party took some action that violated a provision of the contract, and that violation caused damage to the aggrieved party. Generally, a valid contract is one that is written and signed by all parties; however, there are some exceptions to this general rule.
If your business has entered into a contract and you find that the other party has failed to perform in accordance with the terms of that contract, then you may be able to raise this claim.
Breach of Fiduciary Duty
A breach of fiduciary claim can arise whenever there has been some negative action taken against the business by one of its fiduciaries. To prove this cause of action, there must first be a duty owed between the business and the breaching party. However, while there are several types of relationships that can give rise to a duty, the parties in a breach of fiduciary duty claim must have had a fiduciary relationship with one another. This means that there is a distinct responsibility between the parties to act in the best interest of one another. Often, this is evidenced between business partners. For example, in North Carolina, controlling shareholders in a corporation owe a fiduciary duty to minority shareholders.
Unfair and Deceptive Trade Practices
Another cause of action commonly raised in business lawsuits are violations of North Carolina’s Unfair and Deceptive Trade Practices Act (“UDTPA”). See N.C. Gen. Stat. § 75-1.1. A violation of the UDTPA occurs whenever someone has acted in a way towards your business that is unfair, deceptive, or is an unfair method of competition. The language of this Act is closely aligned with its federal counterpart, Section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act. Business owners will find that both legislative documents protect against unfair or deceptive actions taken against the business.
Dye Culik PC is a business and franchise law firm in Charlotte, North Carolina. Our attorneys are experienced litigators and represent businesses in all types of disputes and lawsuits. We’re here to help and offer a complimentary consultation if you are facing a litigation issue. Contact us if you are facing a business litigation issue and need some guidance.