If I’m a tattoo artist, what are my rights to contact former clients regarding unfinished and pre-paid tattoos since I’m now at a new location?

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If I’m a tattoo artist, what are my rights to contact former clients regarding unfinished and pre-paid tattoos since I’m now at a new location?

I am a tattoo artist (self employed private contractor) and the business is set up just like a barber shop. My cut goes to me and the shops cut goes to the owner. I left the shop and went to a different one in town. I had been contacting my old clients that had unfinished and prepaid tattoos to let them know that I left and I would still absolutely honor their tattoos. The owner of the old business has been threatening me legally for contacting these people and claims that I now owe him money for these unfinished tattoos, even though I am trying to make it right. What should I do?

Asked on January 7, 2015 under Business Law, Wisconsin

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

If the owner of the old business was to receive a percentage (a "cut") of all payments for tatoos when the business was contracted at his shop, then you owe him the appropriate percentage of any prepaid sums you received while working at his shop. If you do not pay him the appropriate amount, he very likely can sue you for breach of contract.


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