Last updated on May 23rd, 2023
An Ohio business is a legal entity, and can sue or be sued. The opposing party in the lawsuit may be another business, an individual, or a governmental entity. Most types of Ohio businesses, including corporations, LLCs and partnerships, may be sued in their own name.
A lawsuit against a sole proprietorship is effectively a suit against the proprietor, who must be the named defendant (usually with a “d/b/a Name of Business” following).
One of the most common types of lawsuits between businesses involves breach of contract. One common type of business to business breach of contract claim is a debt collection lawsuit. The statute of limitations for most contract-based debts in Ohio is six years, regardless of whether the parties are businesses or individuals. However, businesses are not entitled to the same debt collection protections as consumers.
Some examples of a breach of contract action one business might file against another include:
Other reasons one Ohio business might sue another include:
Of course, this isn’t a comprehensive list of lawsuits one business might file against another. While there are some exceptions and limitations, one business can sue another for most of the same reasons an individual could, along with a few claims that are specific to businesses.
In theory, one Ohio business can sue another in small claims court. If your business is small, that may seem like an attractive option, since it’s a streamlined, less complicated process than a regular civil court case. But, there are some important limitations that mean small claims court is often not the right answer for a business filing a lawsuit.
Those limitations are:
Money damages are the most common award in Ohio civil litigation, including business versus business lawsuits. Depending on the type of lawsuit and the specifics, the business may recover damages such as:
In some circumstances, a court may also order specific performance on an Ohio contract. This is typically limited to situations in which the goods involved cannot reasonably be replaced. Punitive damages may also be awarded in a business lawsuit, under the same conditions as they might be appropriate in a case involving individuals. However, if the defendant business is a “small employer,” punitive damages are capped at the lesser of twice compensatory damages or 10% of the business’s net worth, and may not exceed $350,000.
As you can see, there are a wide range of reasons that one Ohio business might bring a lawsuit against another. Some seem straightforward, such as a debt collection lawsuit against a company that failed to pay a supplier’s invoice. Others, like nuisance claims and trade defamation, may be much more complicated.
In addition, a business doesn’t have the same options an individual might for bringing a lawsuit on its own. That’s because an individual has a right to represent themselves in court, meaning that they can engage in activities such as questioning witnesses on their own behalf. But, an employee or officer of a business doesn’t have the same option, since they would be representing another entity (the business) rather than themselves. So, any business considering filing a lawsuit against another business or facing a lawsuit should speak with an experienced business litigation attorney right away.
Keep up to Date with Our Newest Firm Updates
Private sector and federal employees file an estimated 4.9 million workers’ compensation claims annually in the U.S. for work-related injuries or illnesses. If you’ve become one of the individuals who […]
Many people are unfamiliar with the term “elimination period” regarding disability benefits. It’s an insurance term like “deductible” or “premium,” and an elimination period means a waiting period or qualifying […]
201 East 5th St.