i sold my grooming business

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i sold my grooming business

I sold a grooming business that I had for 3 years.  We sold it as a turn key operation.  We signed no kind of contract with them but we also didn’t have them sign anything but they owe us a balance and are refusing to pay because they say we stole clients from them.  So i have a 2 part question:  what is the law on selling a business without signing a non-compete contract — they didnt ask me to sign one.  And second, do we have a leg to stand on without a contract?  All we have is a receipt saying she owes us more money thank you

Asked on June 20, 2009 under Business Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

1) If there's no noncompete, you may compete, and the buyer may not reduce what they owe you on account of competition. They could have asked for or negotiated a noncompete during the sale--it is their failure if they didn't.

2) If you have a receipt indicating they owe you money, you may enforce that--the receipt  is your contract in this case, since it evidences that you are owed X dollars in exchange for selling your business. (Even if the receipt doesn't actually mention the sale itself, the receipt evidences the debt and you can use verbal testimony or other evidence to clarify what it was that was sold.)

People think that contracts have to be formal documents full of "therefores" and "the first party" and etc., but any piece of writing that demonstrates what is being sold or exchanged or done will do, with a few narrow exceptions.


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