NFIB supports ruling in business partners case

A small business advocacy group has filed a brief with the Colorado Supreme Court in connection with a case involving the role of general partners in businesses.

The National Federation of Small Business Legal Center filed a so-called friend of the court brief in Chan v. Heartland Energy Development Corp.

The NFIB supports a Colorado Court of Appeals ruling in the case, which primarily concerns whether or not general partners can actively participate in businesses using their general business experience even if they lack industry specific experience.

“An improper application of the Colorado Securities Act, in this case, will directly impose hardship and increase compliance costs on small business owners,” said Karen Harned, executive director of the NFIB  Small Business Legal Center. “We are hopeful the Colorado Supreme Court will affirm the lower court’s decision and protect Colorado small businesses from unnecessary compliance costs.”

Tony Gagliardi, state director of the NFIB in Colorado, agreed. “This case has the potential to impact the state’s small businesses with unexpected and expensive compliance costs. Colorado small businesses urge the Supreme Court to put this issue to rest and affirm the lower court’s decision.”

The NFIB called on the high court to affirm the lower court ruling and its consideration of both the partners’ general business experience and industry specific experience.

The NFIB also filed an amicus brief with the Colorado Court of Appeals arguing state law should be clarified to reflect that sophisticated and experienced business people can frequently participate meaningfully in the operation of a business without prior specific experience in a particular industry segment.