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Thanks for your question.
To enable me to answer your question could you please respond to the following:-
No a different name and no agreement was made - I and my family moved to Canada just after the move. My brother in law took over the business.
So you have now returned to the UK and wish to commence the type of work that you previously carried out under the business?
Was the business a limited company, partnership or sole trader?
Thanks for your question.
If you are not representing yourself as the same business as before the it's not fraud.
When a party sell a business to a buyer it is for the buyer to ensure that they are adequately protected from the Seller choosing to carrying on trading in the same trade. This is usually done by the insertion in to the sale contract of the business of a restrictive covenant by the Seller to the Buyer stating that they will not carry on the same trade for a period of x years within y miles of the location of the business.
If this was not agreed informally and you are not representing yourself as the same business then I cannot see how he would have the basis of a contractual claim against you. He has not protected his interests well at all and that's his fault for not instructing a solicitor or taking initial advice.
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