Can a flea market deny a corporation from selling a product that is controversial but yet legal?

I am the president of a company that sells products in a local flea market in the state of TN. Today I was told that a controversial product that I sell could not be sold in my store due to reasons that appear to be legally invalid. This product is legal and compliant with both state and federal laws. For the before mentioned fact, does the flea market have the right do deny myu company from selling these products? Just to note, the flea market is a LLC and I have never signed any kind of agreement which outlines which products that I can and cannot sell.

Asked on March 10, 2011 under Business Law, Tennessee


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

The flea market is a private business, correct? If so, they can absolutely determine what you can and cannot sell, and even decide whether to have your store in the market at all. There is no general right to be able to force another business or landlord (and a flea market takes in aspects of both) to allow you to sell whatever you like in their place of business. So they can tell you not to sell this product, and your recourse is to try to sell it via another venue (another flea market; directly online or mail order; out of a store front you rent; etc.). Possibly, if you believe they are in some fashion discriminating against you on the basis of a protected characteristic--e.g. your race, religion, disability, sex, age over 40--you may have a cause of action if the flea market were deemed a place of public accomodation (malls are, I believe), but short of that, that can tell you what you may and may not sell.

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