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What is a fiduciary duty?

In a family, it is presumed that Florida parents will act in the best interests of their children. Similarly, when a West Palm Beach resident goes to the doctor, they may assume that their doctor will have their best interests in mind. The same holds true in business. If a person has the responsibility of acting with others best interests in mind, it is said that they have a fiduciary duty and they are bound to preserve the interests of others because others have put their confidence and trust into them.

Acting as a fiduciary can be hard for a business person. They may want to take risks with a business or take the entity down a less secure path in the hope of reaping greater profits down the road. However, if they become negligent or reckless in their responsibilities to others who have trusted them, such as shareholders or partners in business, then it is possible that they will breach their fiduciary duty in the process.

Breaches of fiduciary duties can form the bases of business litigation claims. Proving such claims is relatively straightforward, as aggrieved parties generally must show that a fiduciary duty existed, that it was breached and that others were harmed due to the breach. They may receive damages if they are successful in their claims.

Understanding where and how fiduciary duties exist in business can be difficult, but consultation with business law attorneys can be helpful to those who believe they may have business litigation claims. When a person who has been trusted with others' confidences acts in a way that harms those they are responsible for, they may be held liable for the harm they cause through their businesses.

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