Is it illegal to go business to business and hand out flyers for a new business that will be opening soon?

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Is it illegal to go business to business and hand out flyers for a new business that will be opening soon?

I own a merchant service company based in TN. We are expanding to MI so I hired a guy to go around and offer a free statement analysis/cost comparison. He was not trying to sell anything. Today was his first day and he ended up getting arrested for soliciting and trespassing. One of the first places he went to, the guy said that he would get a copy of his previous statement and went in the back and called the cops on him. I have never had this problem before. What is the best way to deal with this because as far as I know, direct marketing is completely legal and everyone in the business does it.

Asked on December 18, 2010 under Business Law, Michigan

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Obviously the good people of Michigan do not agree with your direct marketing tactics.  Solicitation is really just an asking and your direct marketer did that in the very vaguest terms maybe.  He asked for the owner to try your service even if for a free consultation.  Trespass is an unlawul interference with one's rights, person or property. The merchant obviously he did not want him on his property handing out flyers or otherwise.  I think that it may be a good idea for you to hire a direct marketing firm in Michigan so that you know how compliance goes there.  It will be cheaper in the long run than lawyer's fees and fines.  Good luck.


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