Legal Question in Business Law in Florida

I am a business owner in altamonte springs, florida. I own a bartending school.

Although I have only owned this business for a little over a year, I have run the school sucessfully for l8 years ( for 3 different owners) at the same location.

The school has always paid a monthly fee to be members of a nationwide affiliation that allows us to give all our students NATIONWIDE job placement(which is a big sales point when selling a bartending course) After Weighing the benefits of being in the affiliation, against the knowledge that the last owner (MY OLD BOSS) is good friends with the owner and ceo of this very large organization. I decided to pay the dues so i could continue to offer nationwide job placement to my graduates. I now know that the old owner has continued to receive the leads that were only supposed to come to my school....for over a year now. When I confronted the owner of the affiliation to ask why the old owner was still receiving the leads for my schools name…I was suddenly kicked out of the affiliation. The old owner is now teaching a 2 day bartending course on international drive and I believe that these two gentlemen

Have been working together to put me out of business, thus eliminating any competition in town !

Can I sue….did they break any laws?

Asked on 3/30/13, 10:26 am

1 Answer from Attorneys

William Gwaltney William W. Gwaltney, Attorneys at Law

You should meet in person with a business attorney who can review your purchase agreement and the contract with the "affiliation". The simple answer is that anyone can sue for most anything. The harder answer is whether you have the ability to maintain the lawsuit and not get kicked out of court.

The purchase agreement and contract will be very important in determining whether you have a viable case. Business litigation can be quite complex at times, but strong contracts can make the process a little easier.

If you used an attorney to help you when you purchased the business, that attorney may also be able to help you now, unless you relied on the seller's attorney.

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Answered on 4/02/13, 5:46 am

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