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Dimitry K., Esq.
Dimitry K., Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 37441
Experience:  Multiple jurisdictions, specialize in business/contract disputes, estate creation and administration.
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I rent a room inside of a hair salon. I have a day spa. I signed

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I rent a room inside of a hair salon. I have a day spa. I signed the contract and have been looking at it because it is ending in two months. The contract has inaccuracy. It states at the top, commissioned based independent contractor station agreement. I am not on commission. I have my own business name, business license, website, phone, clients, and offer spa services. The contract states contractor agrees not to possess an ownership interest in any other business that competes with the business of the company for 1 yr with in 10 mile radius of *** salon and spa. Even thou they have spa in there name they did not offer the spa services I offer and did not have anyone there doing them. I supplied all my own equipment, machines, and advertising. There are many reasons why I want to move, such as owner physically fighting with a station renter and cops coming, it to load for a spa, the salon owner asking me to not turn on the lights and said she wants to look closed and if any of here clients came to the door tell them no one is providing services that day even though I had clients come in and was still running my business, the ac in my room doesn't work properly and it has been very hot. I have even had clients who loved the service I provided but wont return because of the heat. They have told me they will fix it but haven't. They told me if I sold there retail to my clients they would give me 10% of the sales its been 10 months and still have never got anything. So there are many reason I do not want to renew and even more I didn't list. Im sure I could termanate my contract. But the contract also say if terminated for any reason covenants to compete and other provisions survive termination. The contract doesn't even have there correct address on it. It has the address of there old salon in which I never stepped foot in. Every one that works under the salon name are hair dressers and there was 1 nail tech for about 2 weeks. I offer none of those services. I have found a place to rent and run my business out of. I planned on finishing out my lease and giving proper notice.But I dont know if I should terminate in order to better fight this non-compete clause if the sue. I signed a lease at the new place 2 miles away from my current place of business before I realized this was in the contract. when I signed the contract at my current place they told me a lot of it didn't apply to me cause I was my own business but sign it anyway because only some of it would apply. Im kicking myself for not being smart about that . Now I am worried because I have seen some of there true colors and I worry they will try to come after me because they see how busy I am. They have even asked me to teach a class to there station rents on how to build a business. Can they come after me because of this clause? What are my options? I haven't taken anything from them and don't posses there client list and they did not train me and do not supply me with anything.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Dimitry K., Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for your question. Please permit me to assist you with your concerns.

This is a very good question. From what I see, and please reply if I am wrong, you rented space in their location but you still had your own business identity, name, and your own clientele that had nothing to do with their clientele. In other words people came to see you, who happened to be in their location, but not to see them. That is most critical. While an independent contractor can be self-incorporated and their own entity, if you also were your own business, you did your own marketing and had your own signs, then you are your own person. The 'non-compete' does survive termination regardless if the contract ends naturally in two months or you terminate it out right, but it survives based on services they provide and now you provide also. If what you were doing is something they did not, it is not competition but only if you were known as your own individual. For example if you rented a space at "Mom's Salon" and your section was called "X's Spa" within the salon, that is enough to show a distinct identity and not enough for them to likely claim infringement. But beyond that they would have a basis to sue regardless if you terminate or it expires. The best option is not to tempt fate and move beyond 10 miles, but if that is not possible, find evidence that you were a separate entity and not their sub-contractor, which would make the agreement void, as that would make the non compete sections void also.

Good luck.

Dimitry K., Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 37441
Experience: Multiple jurisdictions, specialize in business/contract disputes, estate creation and administration.
Dimitry K., Esq. and 17 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Yes I have my own room with a key lock. I have a different" state registered name" for my spa. when my clients come in the salon they ask for me or my business. I have my own flyers, buy my own equipment and supplies, my own website, business license, book my own appointment, my own merchant account, my own business bank account, and do all my own advertising and specials, a few of the salon clients have come to me to get spa services but only a few and they have become regular clients now. but I have given them some clients to. because they do hair and I do skin care so we do not offer the same services.

Expert:  Dimitry K., Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for your follow-up.

In that case you are describing more of a business entity within their property that is still a standalone entity, rather than a traditional independent contractor agreement. That makes all the difference and one that you can point to as a basis for why the non-compete is irrelevant as you were never there to compete with them in the first place. You never worked for them and therefore they cannot demand such terms of your going forward.

Good luck.

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