Creating a closely held corporation or partnership is often compared to marriage. Owners must not just “get along” or have complementary skill sets, they must make a long-term commitment to a common vision – and to each other. There are sure to be challenges along the way, and shareholders and partners should understand that by entering into shared ownership, they’ve agreed to a set of legal obligations to each other that are designed to protect the business. They also need to understand that undoing the relationship is not simple and while it may be farthest from their minds at the outset, it needs to be dealt with at the start. In certain states, these duties may be more extensive than in others – we’ll share some examples based on Massachusetts law.