Do I have any rights to my business address?

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Do I have any rights to my business address?

In 1995 I started a business on the property of a resort hotel. I initially used the hotel’s address as my business address. After a few months I was told that I could no longer use the hotel’s adress as my address and I was given, by the hotel (landlord), an address that was assotiated with an empty retail space located within the hotel. Now the landlord is telling me that I can no longer use this address because, I suspect, that they want to rent space to another business very similar to my business. Do I have any any right to that address and/or the physical space itself? Can I stop the other business from using that space and address?

Asked on August 2, 2011 Florida

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You need to carefully read the written lease you have with your landlord (assuming you have one) with respect to the commercial rental that you have. Its terms and conditions typically control the duties and obligations owed by the landlord to you and vice versa as long as there is no violation of state law.

You had been using an address for your business that supposedly is the hotel's address for a few months but were requested to stop using it. Is this address you were using, the address of the space you are renting? If they are one and the same, then you have the right to use this address for mailing and other purposes unless the written lease agreement prohibits such.

If the space you are renting has a different address than the resort hotel's, then the landlord would seemingly be within his or her rights to request you to use a different address to prevent confusion to the general public that you are affiliated with the resort hotel in some capacity.

As to a new tenant moving into a space near you and your concern that the new tenant's business will be similar to yours and take away business, read your written lease to see if there is any mention of the landlord's inability to rent spaces in the complex where you are located to businesses similar to yours. If there is a provision prohibiting this, you can address this issue with your landlord and perhaps preclude the new tenant from moving in if in fact the new tenant's business will be similar to yours.


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