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What is Minority Shareholder Oppression

by | Oct 11, 2020 | Firm News |

In Pennsylvania, there are thousands of small businesses that are organized as corporations and owned by a small group of shareholders. They are referred to as closely held corporations. The person or persons who own 51% or more of the shares of the corporation will ordinarily have control over 100% of corporate decisions. Minority shareholders, therefore, are in a precarious position if the majority controlling shareholder chooses not to conduct business in a manner that is fair to all of the shareholders.

But the law imposes a fiduciary duty upon the majority controlling shareholders to avoid taking action to oppress a minority shareholder’s interests. Examples of conduct that may constitute shareholder oppression are:

  1. Paying excessive salaries or benefits to the majority shareholder or his family;
  2. Using corporate funds to purchase goods or services from a majority shareholder individually; and
  3. Terminating a minority shareholder’s employment.

If you are a minority shareholder and you do not feel that the majority is treating you fairly, you should get a legal consultation. There a legal remedies available to protect you.


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