Minority Shareholders Have Rights-Don’t be Bullied Out of a Business Relationship.
Massachusetts has specific laws that protect minority shareholders. This is especially true in small “closely held” companies owned by family members. Being in business with family has its challenges. Sometimes family members do not agree on the direction of a business or one member wants to control the business at the expense of the other family members. Often one family member offers to “buy out” other member(s). This happens when the member who owns a minority of the shares of the company begins to complain about how the majority members are running the family business. Tensions flare and sometimes the majority family member puts pressure on the minority family member to sell his or her shares back to the company. Minority members often times feel “powerless” to do anything but sell their shares. This is especially true when the majority member begins to “harass” the minority member by cutting wages, reducing responsibilities in the minority members operation of the business and creating a “hostile working environment”. Fear not, minority shareholders have protection under Massachusetts law from being “frozen out” of their own corporation. These laws offer a wide range of protection from majority shareholder “oppression”. If you are the victim of “minority freeze out” call our office. We may be able to help.