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Old 12-10-2010, 08:11 PM   #21
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He [landlord] was totally cool about it and said that my family has worked too hard to make the company what it is and if my dad's partner wants to leave, just show him the door.
I'm still very hazy on this point- specifically, the legal status of this individual whom you are referring to as "the partner."

Within the realm of business law, the term "partner" has a very specific meaning. It denotes that an individual or entity is a joint participant in a co-operative business relationship between two or more parties. At the level of a small business such as yours, partnership typically involves joint ownership. Partners are not always co-owners, and even when they are, ownership is not always evenly distributed. So one partner might own a 90% interest in a company and the other 10%.

Before you have any further conversations with this fellow, you really need to understand what his legal relationship is, if any, with the company. What is the legal status of Vash Concrete? Is it a corporation? Is it a sole proprietorship? An LLC? An LLP? Who owns the company?

Seriously- it seems obvious that this fellow feels that he is entitled to something, and that talking to him isn't going to accomplish much right now. Regardless of whether or not he has actually contributed anything useful to the business, you really need to understand whether or not he holds any formal ownership interest in the company, whether the company has any contractural relationship with him, etc.

If it turns out that your father is the sole owner of the company, then go ahead and buy this partner fellow a cheap watch and an $8 cake from the grocery store. But if this guy does have any kind of ownership interest or other obligation, you're not doing yourself any favors by pissing him off and giving him a reason to concoct justifications for why you need to be fucked over.
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Old 12-10-2010, 08:34 PM   #22
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... The office duties can be contracted to others, the core business cannot.
This is exactly what I was thinking. You can hire temp workers or consultants to do this work.
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Old 12-10-2010, 08:42 PM   #23
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I'm still very hazy on this point- specifically, the legal status of this individual whom you are referring to as "the partner."

Within the realm of business law, the term "partner" has a very specific meaning. It denotes that an individual or entity is a joint participant in a co-operative business relationship between two or more parties. At the level of a small business such as yours, partnership typically involves joint ownership. Partners are not always co-owners, and even when they are, ownership is not always evenly distributed. So one partner might own a 90% interest in a company and the other 10%.

Before you have any further conversations with this fellow, you really need to understand what his legal relationship is, if any, with the company. What is the legal status of Vash Concrete? Is it a corporation? Is it a sole proprietorship? An LLC? An LLP? Who owns the company?

Seriously- it seems obvious that this fellow feels that he is entitled to something, and that talking to him isn't going to accomplish much right now. Regardless of whether or not he has actually contributed anything useful to the business, you really need to understand whether or not he holds any formal ownership interest in the company, whether the company has any contractural relationship with him, etc.

If it turns out that your father is the sole owner of the company, then go ahead and buy this partner fellow a cheap watch and an $8 cake from the grocery store. But if this guy does have any kind of ownership interest or other obligation, you're not doing yourself any favors by pissing him off and giving him a reason to concoct justifications for why you need to be fucked over.
Joe, I don't know too much about the specifics, but I'll try to explain best I can. I'm trying to leave the names of certain folks involved out, but its making it harder for me to write and probably harder for you guys to follow, so from now on I'll refer to the partner as Steve. The landlord is the son of the true landlord that passed away last year, I'll call him Bob.

I know that on paper, my dad is the "President" of the company, and I'm 99% sure that Steve is listed as the "Treasurer". I don't know what the ownership is legally, but they've always said that Steve owns the trucks and my dad owns the forms. Whether its an actual "legal" co-ownership, and which one owns xx%, I have no idea. I just have the info I've been fed over the years.

Steve likes me more than he does my dad and my brother, probably because he's had to put up with them a lot longer than he has myself. He actually just called me on the phone about a half hour ago cocked, asking me if my car fell apart on the ride home. He would never call my brother or dad after work hours regarding something that wasn't work related. I think Steve and my dad are merely "business partners", and that's it. Sure they get along time to time, but they aren't like one another in any way, shape, or form.

If anyone has a chance at getting Steve to see things from a different perspective, I feel like its me. My dad is way too timid about the business and wont confront Steve face to face, even if he wants to. Maybe years ago he would have, but he's acting older and more docile than he was even 5 years ago. My brother is a grown adult with a wife and 3 kids, but he's kinda in la-la land when it comes to this stuff. He's aggressive enough that he'll get my back against Steve if it comes down to it, but he wont initiate anything.

Like I said, I truly don't want to **** anything up. I'm really just trying to keep the ball rolling, but I know that will mean that I need to step up and help out with the business/office side of things, and before I can do any of that, I need to make sure that its the right thing to get involved in. I could most certainly do this for the rest of my life because I enjoy the trade, not to mention on slow days at the office I can work on my own eBay thing I have going on. Who knows, if all goes well I might end up having a hell of a good setup.
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Old 12-10-2010, 09:19 PM   #24
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The partner wanting out is misguided if he thinks he has much coming to him. Sounds like the physical assets, bank account and collectibles are minimal. What he likely thinks has value doesn't. The fact the company is 45 years old, has a reputation, etc is termed "blue sky". Unless you have a brand name like Intel, Coca Cola, etc a name is worth squat when selling a business. Unless the past customer list can be counted on for future business, the customer list is equally worthless in trying to value or sell a business. What an existing business has to sell is it's track record for profitability and physical assets. If it hasn't been making much in the last year or two it would be extremely difficult to put a significant value on it.

Go to your local Small Business Association office ASAP! They likely have people there that have been through these same situations and certainly will have good advice for you. At the very least a referral to an experienced attorney or accountant that can help.
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Old 12-10-2010, 09:53 PM   #25
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It occurs to me that there might be a rather simple way to expedite this process of discovery.

Somewhere within the bowels of Vash Concrete there is a business license. I don't know what the rules are in CT, so it might be framed and hanging prominently on the wall, or it might be hidden in the bottom of a locked filing cabinet stuck into a disused lavatory in the basement of the building with a sign on the door saying "Beware of the Leopard."

But it's in there somewhere.

Make a photocopy of this license. Then, first thing Monday morning, head on down to the local administration building, produce the copy, and explain, in brief, who you are and that you need to determine who is/are the lawful owners of the company.
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Old 12-10-2010, 10:16 PM   #26
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...within the bowels of Vash Concrete...

Oh, thank you for that mental image.
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Old 12-10-2010, 10:22 PM   #27
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Good luck with all this Vash. Sounds like you have some research to do.
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Old 12-10-2010, 10:38 PM   #28
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fwiw, i think you are doing the right thing, and your father and brother aare lucky to have you around. i think your fathers partner is clueless if he thinks he can just walk away and make your faher selll everything. it sounds like he wants to cash out and is preying on your fathers lack of business skills. what a snake. sorry about nocaps, typed from cellphonee
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Old 12-13-2010, 03:32 PM   #29
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Thanks for all the support and advice guys. I appreciate all the kind words and encouragement. Unfortunately though, I have about as little say in the matter as a **** in the toilet apparently.

I stopped at my parents house today and my dad was home, which is unusual. I asked him what was up and he said that they are closing down on the 1st of the year. I started to talk to him about it but it turned into a screaming match and didnt go very well.

For the past 6 months I've been warning him that this was coming and he did NOTHING to prepare for it. ******* NOTHING! Now he's making like they (him and my brother) need to figure out what to do. How will they get the money to pay everything for the 1st of the year, let alone keep things going. Everything I said he just snapped back with a sad puss excuse for why it cant work.

I'm tired of stressing myself out over this. I literally think more about this **** than I do my own things that I need to focus on. I'm about 2 seconds away from driving down to the shop in getting into his partners face and telling him the **** off, but I know it wont get me anywhere. I'm so mad at them for letting this happen and not being more involved with the company. It makes me furious to just see my dad give up like that.

He did say that he talked to my brother about them trying to keep the company running. Apparently my brother said he has to think about it. He's just like my dad, so I'm sure later tonight or tomorrow he'll come to the conclusion that they cant do it. It really almost makes me want to go to my bank and take out a ******* $50k loan and just make the decision for them. Like many of you already said though, I shouldn't jeopardize my future on it just for the sake of keeping it alive.

You have no idea how bad I want to put on my gloves and beat the **** out of this bag. I don't think my physical therapist will like that very much though if I tell her I already went back to boxing a little over a month out of surgery. I really cant believe it......
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Old 12-13-2010, 03:35 PM   #30
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The problem is your Dad didn't get a public job and was able to retire on pension in just 20 short years.

Live and learn.
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Old 12-13-2010, 04:30 PM   #31
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So, did you find out what the actual legal status of the company is, and who the actual owner(s) is/are?
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Old 12-13-2010, 06:32 PM   #32
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If you offer someone help, and they act like they don't want it, then it's time to stop helping them.
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Old 12-13-2010, 06:54 PM   #33
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In for you shutting up to the "rogue" partner to not show your hand in this deal.

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The problem is your Dad didn't get a public job and was able to retire on pension in just 20 short years.

Live and learn.
lol @ your trolling.
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Old 12-13-2010, 07:06 PM   #34
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I'm still very hazy on this point- specifically, the legal status of this individual whom you are referring to as "the partner."
You definitely need to figure out the legal structure of the business and any owners. In addition to the previous instructions, you may see if you can find something called the "articles of incorporation" that will spell out ownership rights.

You need to talk with a financial advisor or legal professional about the dissolution and/or monitization of a small business. In order to help you, they will need the information above.


I am still amazed, but shouldn't be by now, at how many people fail to plan for the dissolution of a business or partnership - especially when at least one of the owners is 69 years old.
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Old 12-13-2010, 07:17 PM   #35
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If it were me. I'd simply leave myself out of it.

then pull the old TOLD YOU SO.
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Old 12-13-2010, 07:28 PM   #36
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The way it stands now, as of 6:00pm tonight, is that this is all entirely up to my bro. He's the one that drives the crane truck and loads/unloads the forms, knows all the ins and outs of setting the forms, and just has the experience to see a job completely though. My dad is too old to do all of that, and basically is only laying out jobs and helping out. He's not one of the main laborers by any means, but he still tries to be. I've only worked there long enough to know how to set forms and pour the concrete. I know very little about laying out and doing all the detail work, so my biggest asset would really only be to replace what his partner does (mechanic and office work), as well as helping out on jobs when in between the other two tasks.

So my dad pretty much said that whatever my bro decides to do is what's going to happen. I can totally understand why he thinks that way, but I tried to make him see it from outside the box and that just turned into arguing. I agree that you cant help someone that doesn't want to be helped, but its my dad. I'm not trying to force him to do anything, but I'm trying my hardest to not let him just give up like this. I ended it by telling him that I'll be at the shop in the morning to talk to them about it and see whats going to happen. I also told him that I was sorry for getting mad at him over it and that I just don't want to see him lose what he loves and does everyday. God knows I don't want to be yelling with my veins popping out of my neck mad and end up giving him a heart attack.

I'm not sure how I can find out the info you guys are saying I need when he doesn't even know, and I'm afraid that going and asking his partner will just be stepping on his toes. I have so many questions and just want to figure out what we need to do, but I feel like I'll have a hard time doing anything about it the way things stand. Best I can hope for is that my bro says he wants to figure out how to keep things going, and then once the first step is taken, we can pressure the partner into handing over the info we need. Without my family's consent though, I pretty much have no choice but to keep quiet.
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Old 12-13-2010, 09:04 PM   #37
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Apart from the legal crap you're being forced to be go through (which sucks)... ever think about building/pouring underground bunkers? Purchases of shelter/bunkers are on the rise, might be something to bandwagon on as the prepared are doing just that - preparing for the zombie horde. just my .02 on a possible market opportunity should you HAVE to go there... or I may be talking out my ***
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Old 12-14-2010, 12:24 PM   #38
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Apart from the legal crap you're being forced to be go through (which sucks)... ever think about building/pouring underground bunkers? Purchases of shelter/bunkers are on the rise, might be something to bandwagon on as the prepared are doing just that - preparing for the zombie horde. just my .02 on a possible market opportunity should you HAVE to go there... or I may be talking out my ***
I actually think that's a awesome idea Gene! We've done an underground hallway to connect a main house to a guest house before (I think it was to get a permit for an addition opposed to a new building permit), so nothings out of the question really. I think I'll bring it up to my dad and see what he thinks about it.

The bunker idea would basically be doing what we normally do, only on a overall smaller scale. Then instead of 8"-10" thick walls we could go upwards to 24" thick walls. Instead of no steel or a regular steel mat (usually depends on the architect/builder/budget) we could bump it up to a 1'x1' double steel mat using #6 rebar. Cap it with a reinforced roof (similar to the walls or thicker) and leave holes for ductwork and you'd have yourself a bomb shelter. Seeing that it would be no bigger than a room or garage size dimensions, the price would be pretty doable for customers. Not to mention once it was excavated we could probably have it formed and poured in 1 day.

I was looking through my computer to see what kind of pictures I had to use for a website portfolio, and came across some of the ones from the gigantic retaining wall we did a few years back. IIRC it took us several months from start to finish. The amount of rebar and concrete that went into this thing was unheard of. I helped set and strip probably half of the job, but used the vibrator (not gay) on most of the pours if not all of them. Stripping forms off a wall over 20' high is nothing short of a deathwish really. By far the biggest job we ever landed. The retaining wall went in, then once it was backfilled and ready for us again, we went back and put 3 buildings on the property. We could sure use another one of those jobs right about now!

Too bad the only pictures I have are with my old **** camera. Here's a couple to give an idea on the size of this ******. BTW, the guy pictured on the top of the wall floating it off is my dad. I still cant believe he climbed up there to float it when any one of us very well could have.
Attached Thumbnails
45 year family business in jeopardy-bigwall01.jpg   45 year family business in jeopardy-bigwall02.jpg   45 year family business in jeopardy-bigwall03.jpg  
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Old 12-14-2010, 05:21 PM   #39
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I'm not sure how I can find out the info you guys are saying I need when he doesn't even know, and I'm afraid that going and asking his partner will just be stepping on his toes.
This business relationship sounds like a dysfunctional family. Here's a suggestion: Instead of everyone going around in separate two-by-two meetings or your father's partner dropping not-so-subtle hints to you, have everyone of importance involved (your dad, your brother, the partner, the partner's wife, you, et al) sit down to discuss the future of the business and the partner's exit strategy like civilized, professional adults.

That way you can define when the parter wants to leave and what he expects to receive as part of his exit.


Someone above mentioned the Small Business Association. Hit up Google to see if there is a local office you can call or visit.


Not to be overly cynical, but the fact that you/your family have not already done everything in this post would make me pessimistic on your odds of successfully running the business as a profitable ongoing enterprise.
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Old 12-22-2010, 09:41 PM   #40
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Vash, Any updates on this?
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