Q&A :: Signing a Non-Compete Agreement

The Question:

I just bought my own little flower shop this past February. Unfortunately, being young and going into business for the first time, I was very naive. The elder brother and sister I had purchased the store from were suppose to retired (One was 58 and the other 62 years old). I thought everything was going well until Passover, in April, where I only received a handful of orders. The store, being next to an affluent Jewish neighborhood, this was very unusual. I learned a few days before the holiday, through a customer, that the previous owners had solicited the client list that they had sold me, and took their orders. Not only that, but they were working out of a wholesaler’s warehouse from whom I also bought my own flowers! Talk about being double crossed. I threatened for legal action and the day before Passover, the previous owners agreed to give me the orders.

So here’s my question: Is there anything I can do to protect myself for future holidays? Can wholesalers do this? Isn’t it damaging for the florist community?
(previous owners did sign a non-compete stating they are not allowed to operate a flower shop directly or indirectly within 3km for 5 years)


The Answers:

Unfortunately, we did not have any responses to the above question when we sent out the Questions Email. If you have advice for the above floral designer we would love to hear it – please leave a comment on this post. Thank you!


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  1. I don’t see how this is the wholesalers problem or fault. Not only were they not part of the non-compete agreement, it’s not their responsibility to be on top of the floral community’s comings and goings. People start new businesses every day and staff leave established business and start their own business. I can’t imagine why the wholesaler should be at fault for selling product or renting space to someone who wants to pay them. However, the people you purchased that list from were in breach of their contract. I would watch them like a hawk. They are the ones responsible for this illegal activity, not the wholesalers.

  2. I would spend the $500 and consult a contact attorney. Going forward just make the best of it everything has a silverlining.