Can a Customer sue my business if someone else used my business and scammed them

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Can a Customer sue my business if someone else used my business and scammed them

I own a landscaping business and I recently
discovered that my brother has been using my
business name and taking peoples money and not
doing the job. I also found out that he created
Facebook, nextdoor, and Instagram account using
my business name without me knowing. Anyways,
there are customers wanting to sue my company and
my brother. He is not a partner or employee of my

Asked on July 12, 2018 under Business Law, Georgia


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

They can file a lawsuit against you/your business because the courts do not pre-screen lawsuits to make sure they are good or valid before accepting them. But if you can prove that this wasn't you (and/or the people suing you cannot prove that it was, since the burden of proof will be on them to establish their case, as the persons suing), you should be able to defend against any such suits successfully. You would only be responsible if you participated in the fraud: you are not responsible for anything you did not do or participate in, even if done (without your consent) in your name.
You should file a police report against your brother for doing this--not only is that legally appropriate and fair, since fraud and stealing your business's identity are in fact crimes, but it will help provide evidence that you did not in any way collaborate with your brother in doing this, or authorize/sanction his scam. You can and should also sue your brother for any costs or losses you incur due to his actions.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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