Can2 auto shops owned by2 different people be right next to each other?

UPDATED: Aug 24, 2011

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Can2 auto shops owned by2 different people be right next to each other?

I own an auto body shop and right next door is another auto body shop. They keep harassing our customers and calling the fire department saying that we have many violations when we clearly do not. It has come to a point where it’s either they go or we go. Is there any law that prevents 2 businesses in the same category to be side by side?

Asked on August 24, 2011 North Carolina


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

No, there unfortunately is no law stating that two--or three, or more--identical businesses next to each other.

However, there may be something you can do--if someone interferes with you business by doing acts which are themselves illegal--such as making false violation reports--or by intimidation or harassment--such as harassing your customers--they may be committing the tort of tortious interference with your business, and it may be possible to sue them either for monetary compensation or for a court order requring them to stop. Also, if they are publically (to any third parties, including customers) making false factual statements about your business, which statements harm your reputation, you may have a claim against them for defamation. You should consult with an attorney to explore your options; good luck.

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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