Know your legal rights in the UAE.
My business partner is harassing me over the phone and WhatsApp. She keeps accusing me of dishonesty and not keeping my word, and uses a lot of abusive words. Can I file a complaint against her? It is causing me stress.
We had a signed agreement as partners, but the trade licence only has my name and that of the other partner, as she joined after business registration. Now, our business was sold at a loss, and she is insisting on getting higher shares on the profit balance. Partners have agreed just to get rid of her. I just want the law to prevail, as per law, partners should share the profit and losses equally. Please advise.
Answer: As you have not mentioned the type of your company in your query, we assume that your company is based in the mainland UAE and incorporated in accordance with the provisions of Companies Law. Further, as one of your partner is allegedly harassing you over phone and WhatsApp, the provisions of the Cyber Law, the UAE Penal Law and the Criminal Procedural Law are applicable.
Abusing an individual in the UAE is a criminal offence. This is in accordance with Article 374 of the UAE Penal Law, which states: “Punishment by detention for a period not exceeding six months or by a fine not exceeding Dh5,000 shall apply if slander or abuse is transmitted by telephone, or face to face with the victim, and in the presence of a third party.
“Punishment by a fine not exceeding Dh5,000 shall be imposed if slander or abuse occurs face to face with the victim alone without the presence of a third party.
Further, any individual in the UAE who is abusing or offending any other individual through any information technology or electronic means is also a criminal offence. This is in accordance with Article 21 of the Cyber Law.
You may file a criminal complaint against your partner, who allegedly abuses and harasses you over phone and WhatsApp messenger. You may approach the police station or the public prosecution office.
Regarding the shares in your company – since you have divided the sale proceeds as per the profit-sharing ratio mentioned in the memorandum of association or as agreed upon between the partners in writing, the partner who is allegedly harassing you may not have a right to claim more than her share of profit.
This is in accordance with Article 29 (1) of the Companies Law, which states: “If the company’s memorandum of association does not stipulate the proportion of a partner in the profits or losses, his share thereof shall be pro rata to his stake in the capital. If the memorandum of association is limited to specifying a partner’s share in the profits, his share in the losses shall be equivalent to his share in the profits and vice versa.”
If a partner is not satisfied with the distribution of the sale proceeds, he or she may file a civil suit claiming a higher share of profit.
It is recommended that you approach a legal counsel in the UAE for further legal advice on this matter.
Know the law:
If the company’s memorandum of association does not stipulate a partner’s share in profits or losses, then his share shall be pro rata to his stake in the capital.
Ashish Mehta is the founder and Managing Partner of Ashish Mehta & Associates. He is qualified to practise law in Dubai, the United Kingdom and India. Full details of his firm on: www.amalawyers.com. Readers may e-mail their questions to: firstname.lastname@example.org or send them to Legal View, Khaleej Times, PO Box 11243, Dubai.
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