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Legal Question for the knowledgeable individual...

Discussion in 'General Industry Discussions' started by Brown & Co., Jul 17, 2011.

  1. Brown & Co.

    Brown & Co. LawnSite Member
    Posts: 134

    So I have my Irrigation & Applicators License as well as my DBA which is all that is required for my region par Texas Department of Agriculture. I have a 2 mil umbrella insurance policy. I also do my own work with an occasional helper (legal day laborer).

    My situation is...

    I've been in business for about 12 yrs not including my peers. I've done what i needed to legally. I run the business out of my personal garage (Last 12 yrs. as I've been doing this all throughout my schooling. Recently we've gotten new neighbors beside us. One is an Irrigator, the other is a handy man that does anything from irrigation and plumbing to landscaping installs and maintenance. I'm almost certain the latter of the two doesn't have a license. Not that I'm losing much or any profits... Its the idea of the matter moving next door to me...We both have our trailers out to be seen. You hear about these bigger corporate companies suing others in the same industry for copying what they are doing. I feel that this is the same situation only on a much smaller scale...Legally its the same thing no matter what the size of the issue is.

    My question is

    Can I sue them for potential lost profits if they are found to be running illegally/not in compliance with the local and state laws?

    Is this a new age way of getting rid of illegal companies (Lowballers) in my/your area? Every job they land is potential profits taken from your portfolio. If they weren't around that's one more chance to land that lead. Just one wont be a change but repeatedly throughout the year can add up to 100's of extra leads for the year equaling thousands in profit. I'm not a dick, and don't mind legal competition at all (pay your dues)...but next door is too much of a slap in the face IMO.
     
  2. Sammy

    Sammy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,734

    Then move.

    They and you have a right to live anyplace they want to.
    If you were a lawyer and they were lawyer's, would it be the same thing ?
     
  3. vencops

    vencops LawnSite Bronze Member
    from NC
    Posts: 1,537

    Can you sue them for lost/potential profits?

    Highly doubt it. How would you identify them (lost/potential profits)? The term "frivolous" comes to mind.

    What you can do is make sure they're licensed. That'll take care of your curiosity. And, if they've been operating without a license.....it may take care of your other issue.

    There's a few guys that live near me that do LCO work. I can promise you they don't compete with me. I should care if they're licensed (or not). But, I don't.
     
  4. Landgreen

    Landgreen LawnSite Member
    Posts: 220

    Why make enemies out of neighbors? Maybe they're nice folks who you can make friends with rather than make some stupid feeble attempt to hurt their livelyhood. There are lowballer unlicensed people out there. Get over it. You're still gonna make a buck anyway. Instead of investimg time and money into pissing someone off, try focusing that energy into your own business.
    Posted via Mobile Device
     
  5. Patriot Services

    Patriot Services LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 12,440

    To answer your question, highly doubtful. Now flip the coin, perhaps they are eyeing you the same way. Not every other contractor is your sworn enemy. Several of my good friends are in the same or related fields. No antimosity among us. You are assuming a lot and you know what that gets you. Lawsuits arise from encroachment on trademarks and similair appearences, not from same lines of work.
    Posted via Mobile Device
     
  6. zturncutter

    zturncutter LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,308

    If I were you I would consider the possibilities of networking with these guys, they may get jobs that they can't handle or don't want for some other reason or they might be able to help you out with labor or some skill they have that you do not. The only people that usually get ahead by going on the attack are the lawyers.
     
  7. vencops

    vencops LawnSite Bronze Member
    from NC
    Posts: 1,537

    Outstanding advice.
     
  8. Brown & Co.

    Brown & Co. LawnSite Member
    Posts: 134

    I should have added a my feelings/thought page so I don't get called particular names

    My feelings: I have no problem with either of them as a family moving in. Yes they have just as much a right to be there. That's common sense. What they don't have is a legal right to be inbusiness without a license. I'm not the type to sue...never have. I feel that whoever polices the industry should have a much bigger appearance than they do. Maybe they do in other areas where agriculture influences are greater but it is an issue I'd like to see a change in. As far as the shoe being on the other foot. I could careless if they want to make an issue and try to sue me for something. That's why it's taken me as long as it has to grow my company. I do have lawyers and ironclade protection. I didn't ask him becaus like i said before I'm not the type to sue but I will ask to see a license and/or send their information to whom it concerns if they are found to be illegal. As far as using them for help as a network that's always a possibility once I know they have all legal issues cover. I'm not out their for quick buck. I'm running a legal company. With structure and a plan (business and personal plans). Thanks everyone for your input this is a matter I was alittle curious to hear others input on. Yes if they were lawyer as I in this hypothetical situation then yes it would be the same scenario as the one I've ask your input on "Sammy". This has nothing to do with them as a family. It's not a civil matter that I proposed but a business/corporate matter. If they used thier home as thier business address then I ask is there a law or regulation in place that stops/henders a company of the same kind opening up so close to another? These are lagit business questions. And I would take a guess that thier books would be legally ceased. And those clients that were found to be in a comptetive service area would be pooled together as a class action lawsuit and dispersed to ALL thee companies with thier address showing that they are there in that region. I'll leave with this statement..."It's just business ...nothing personal".
    Posted via Mobile Device
     
  9. rywnygc

    rywnygc LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 523

    get a bigger trailer
     
  10. MR-G

    MR-G LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 479

    we have no problem asking every lco we see for their credentials...and when they refuse to show at least an occ. license (and some have) we report them to local auth. we will also follow up and see that they are or have come into compiance....and we are not the only one in our area that does this....a bunch of us have gotten together to keep the illegal operators out.....thank you for being an AMERICAN and giving a sh*t:usflag:
     

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