“Generally, a plaintiff seeking to pierce the corporate veil must show that (1) the owners exercised complete domination of the corporation in respect to the transaction attacked; and (2) that such domination was used to commit a fraud or wrong against the plaintiff which resulted in plaintiff’s injury.” Conason v.
Considering this, under what circumstance does a court pierce the corporate veil?
A court will pierce the corporate veil when it finds that the corporation is an agent of its shareholder, and will hold the principal vicariously liable, due to the respondeat superior doctrine.
Keeping this in consideration, is it hard to pierce the corporate veil?
This legal structure creates an entity separate from the individual. … It is expensive and difficult to pierce the corporate veil and get a judgment against the individual behind the company.
Is piercing the corporate veil a separate cause of action?
Piercing the corporate veil is not a cause of action but instead a “means of imposing liability in an underlying cause of action.” … In piercing the corporate veil, the objective is to reach assets of an affiliated corporation or individual shareholders.
Commingling one entity’s assets with another entity’s assets is a signifi-cant factor in favor of veil piercing. … A mere breach of contract was not enough to justify piercing the corporate veil, and Smith’s use of another company’s check did not rise to the level of “commingling” in light of all the evidence presented.
Avoiding a legal obligation
The Court may lift the veil if the company concerned is ‘using’ the veil to avoid fulfilling legal obligations. For example, if a company owes a creditor money but transfers their assets to another entity to avoid payment, the Court can lift the veil.
5 steps for maintaining personal asset protection and avoiding piercing the corporate veil
- Undertaking necessary formalities. …
- Documenting your business actions. …
- Don’t comingle business and personal assets. …
- Ensure adequate business capitalization. …
- Make your corporate or LLC status known.
If a court pierces a company’s corporate veil, the owners, shareholders, or members of a corporation or LLC can be held personally liable for corporate debts. This means creditors can go after the owners’ home, bank account, investments, and other assets to satisfy the corporate debt.
The Five Most Common Ways to Pierce the Corporate Veil and Impose Personal Liability for Corporate Debts
- The existence of fraud, wrongdoing, or injustice to third parties. …
- Failure to maintain the separate identities of the companies. …
- Failure to maintain separate identities of the company and its owners or shareholders.
Lifting of the corporate veil means disregarding the corporate personality and looking behind the real person who are in the control of the company.
If a business is an LLC or corporation, except in very rare circumstances, you can‘t sue the owners personally for the business’s wrongful conduct. However, if the business is a sole proprietorship or a partnership, you may well be able to sue the owner(s) personally, in addition to suing their business.
In most potential cases, the attorneys estimate the cost to try to pierce the corporate veil will be $10,000 and up, as explained in this article I recently published on CreditToday.
While a one-time use of a personal credit card or a personal guarantee will not result in a court piercing the corporate veil, regularly engaging in these practices demonstrates a failure to keep personal and business assets separate.