what would you do?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Nw. Shadesofgreen, Mar 5, 2004.

  1. Nw. Shadesofgreen

    Nw. Shadesofgreen LawnSite Member
    Messages: 91

    Here is the ??? I recently left a job as a manager at a local landscape maintenance company back in October.
    I signed a 3 year non-compete agreement that I would not go after there maintenace accounts. Some came with me any ways, because of the relationships I had forged with these customers.
    Well yesterday I found out that they have sold there maintenance department and a new owner has bougth the accounts and equipment.

    As far as I am concerned the non compete is no longer valid, and there are some real nice accounts that I have a good relationship with and would love to have.
    Please give your opinion as to what you would do.

    1. Go after some of the accounts
    2. leave the new guy alone and don't go after them.

    Thanks for any resposes.

    Nw. Shadesofgreen:)
  2. bastalker

    bastalker LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 965

    I would actively pursue the accounts.......I would also explain to your new clients, that the maintainence dept of the co. you were working for has been sold. Tell em you are starting out on your own, but would really like to maintain thier lawns, since you were basically doing that anyway.

    Explain to them that if any reprocusions arise, that you would completely understand if they were to stay with the original company. 9 times out of 10, you have a base for a Lco......
  3. mbricker

    mbricker LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 505

    Wow, this is tricky. My gut says go see those accounts and reap the rewards of the work and goodwill you have put in.

    But my brain says take that non-compete agreement to a lawyer first, and be sure you won't end up paying damages in excess of what you profit off the work.

    Remember sometimes lawyers are overly conservative in their advice, but sometimes just the opposite, they advise you based on the idea of starting a fight they can make money out of. Would recommend an attorney you know well, if possible.

    And there's always new customers you've never met before, and some advantages to sticking to the high road, even if not required to.

    Good luck!
  4. sildoc

    sildoc LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,925

    I would consult your attorney. I would make sure that you legally would be able to aquire these accounts. If not then there are many green pastures out there, if so and relationship is good go for it.
  5. Nw. Shadesofgreen

    Nw. Shadesofgreen LawnSite Member
    Messages: 91

    thanks for the aswners keep them comming. I think I should have started a poll on this.

    I see your point about tlaking to an attorney.
    Let me just say this, I do not know the new owner of the eqipment and accounts. As I see it I do not owe him any loyalty. Also I left the company he bougth the stuff from because I had the feeling the department was about to get shut down, The departing was not on the greatest of teerms.

    Thanks again.
    Mike Nw. Shadesofgreen
  6. impactlandscaping

    impactlandscaping LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,332

    The non-compete could transfer with new ownership since the accounts were most likely included in the sale as part of the business base. Consult a lawyer just to be sure..
  7. bastalker

    bastalker LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 965

    Once the maintainece dept. has been sold, the customers are up for grabs, an the contract I think would be null an void........IMO

    Then I aint no lawyer.....
  8. IndyPropertyCare

    IndyPropertyCare LawnSite Member
    Messages: 201

    I dont know about your state,,,, but here a non-compete dosent hold up in court unless you have stolen information from your previous employer to get the accounts.
  9. awm

    awm LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,354

    i think u can get away with going after these acct.. although anybody who purchased your former employees buiiness ,,is bound to be gungho about doing these newlyaquired acct well.
    u takeum ,i exspect u better be ready for a confrontation in ct or otherwise.. jmo

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