How can we prevent companies in a different parallel industry from providing services that we provide to clients that we both contract with? We are a professional, non partisan, independent board of directors election monitoring company. Property management companies routinely provide their clients (our clients and potential clients) with this service although it is a conflict of interest for them to do so and they are not a professional election monitoring company, they are a management company. One of the jobs of a management company is to find professional vendors to service their clients but instead they provide our services to our clients and potential clients. Because they are closely involved with the client (on a daily basis) they can get the client to accept these services from them. The client doesn't know any better, they think they are getting a deal but the management company is not non partisan nor independent nor are they qualified to provide this service due to the conflict of interest. Can we sue a whole industry?
2 Answers from Attorneys
Generally speaking, you cannot stop another company from servicing your clients or potential unless you have a written non-compete and/or non-solicitation agreements with either the clients and/or the other company. Since a license is not required to provide coop/condo board monitoring services, anyone can do it -- even if they don't do a good job.
Nonetheless, here are something ideas on how you can protect your business:
- in as much as management companies sell monitoring services you should consider marketing/selling management services and then develop working relations with management companies whereby you will refer clients to one another (of course you would have a legal agreement between the two of you that will specify the referral fees and terms of exclusivity etc.)
- you can approach management companies and offer to be their board monitoring service in exchange for a referral fee you will pay them (again you would then have a legal agreement in place protecting you)
- you should trademark your company name so that a management company with a similar name would not be able to provide your services and confuse customers
- ask customers to sign an exclusivity agreement with you in exchange for a perk or discount
I'm happy to further discuss these legal and business protections. Contact me directly.
Roman R. Fichman, Esq.
www.TheLegalists.com │ @TheLegalist
email: Info (@) TheLegalists (dot) com
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This question is much too involved to answer in an email forum on a free message board.Your question is beyond the scope of this service.
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