As is the case in the rest of both Florida and other parts of the country, most Tallahassee businesses exist and operate on contracts. All kinds of agreements make up the various dimensions of a business's operations, from purchase and vendor agreements to employment agreements.
What this means is that when it comes to business relationships, they are generally at arm's length with people free to press their legal advantages. However, for a lot of reasons, the law gives special status to certain types of business relationships, which are called fiduciary relationships, for a variety of reasons.
By way of example, partners in a business stand in a fiduciary relationship with each other. Likewise, corporate directors and officers must act as a fiduciary to the corporation, which is usually interpreted to mean the shareholders who ultimately own the company.
Someone who has a fiduciary relationship has special obligations that go beyond just following the basic laws, keeping to the letter of one's agreement and not lying or defrauding other parties to a business transaction. Fiduciaries must always act in the best interest of the person or entity the fiduciary is supposed to protect. This means, for instance, that even if otherwise legal, a fiduciary cannot take actions that profit him or her at the expense of a partnership or corporation.
When a fiduciary does not meet his or her obligations, then a victim can sue the fiduciary for a breach of fiduciary duty. This is a separate case that allows a victim to recover more than he or she would if it were a simple breach of contract case. Of course, filing a lawsuit is a huge step that is usually best accomplished with the help of an experienced Florida business litigation attorney.