Legal Question in Business Law in Washington

I own an operate a retail store in a strip mall in spokane wa

my question is this: what are the law regarding competition between stores?

a store opened up next to us and are selling items we wanted to sell and items we do sell

is this legal?

Asked on 6/02/10, 1:18 pm

3 Answers from Attorneys

Edward Hoffman Law Offices of Edward A. Hoffman
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Sure. You could have negotiated a lease that forbade the owners to rent out any of the other storefronts to direct competitors, but you evidently didn't do that.

Unless you can show that the landlord is actually trying to undermine your business, there probably isn't much you can do.

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Answered on 6/02/10, 4:28 pm
Susan Beecher Susan L. Beecher, Atty at Law
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Yes. In fact, it would be illegal for you to try to stop them (a violation of anti-trust laws.)

The only exceptions would be if your lease provides that your landlord will not put a store that directly competes with you too near to you (then you may have a breach of contract case against your landlord, but not your competitor), or if you held the license from the manufacturer to sell certain trademarked items, and your competitor was selling the same items without holding a license.

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Answered on 6/02/10, 4:28 pm
Kevin B. Murphy Franchise Foundations, APC
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Any attorney will tell you, you need to research what your lease says. If it contains a promise by the landlord not to put a competing store near you, that's one situation. If not, you're pretty much out of luck. Besides the law favors free competition. Consult with an attorney in your area for specific advice.

Kevin B. Murphy, B.S., M.B.A., J.D. - Mr. Franchise

Franchise Attorney

Kevin B. Murphy, B.S., M.B.A., J.D. - Mr. Franchise

Franchise Attorney

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Answered on 6/02/10, 4:34 pm

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