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

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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

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 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.


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