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Thomas, Lawyer
Category: UK Law
Satisfied Customers: 7620
Experience:  BA (Hons), PgDip, Practising Solicitor
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I sold a small gardening business 2 years ago - no formal documents

Resolved Question:

I sold a small gardening business 2 years ago - no formal documents were created or signed. Now, 2 years later, I am putting flyers through domestic properties letter boxes offering gardening services in the same area of my previous business. I am being told I am trying to steal the business back from 2 years ago and it is fraud. I don't think so. I don't know what my old customers are doing and the flyers are for all properties.
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: UK Law
Expert:  Thomas replied 6 years ago.



Thanks for your question.

To enable me to answer your question could you please respond to the following:-

  • 1. Are you representing yourself as the same business as before (ie. Same name)
  • 2. Did you agree informally not to trade in the future for a certain period of time

Kind regards.


Customer: replied 6 years ago.

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.

Expert:  Thomas replied 6 years ago.


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?


Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Sole trader. Yes trying to start up again and the flyers are to test the area for interest and not actually done any work yet
Expert:  Thomas replied 6 years ago.



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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I will answer your follow up questions you may have.

Kind regards,


Thomas and other UK Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Thanks for your answer - it has been very interesting. Have accepted the answer