Can a former owner’s name, etc still be used by the new owner of a business?

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Can a former owner’s name, etc still be used by the new owner of a business?

We have sold our business couple of years ago. The buyers are still using my small business disadvantage minority certificates to get new contracts as the buyer is not a citizen and is not eligible for getting such a certificate. They also use my name in lot of public website sites as the authorized representative of that company. We have requested them not to use my information but still continue. Is legal for them to use my information after the sale of the company to get new business? In what way is that going to affect me personally? Is this considered as identity theft? Is this considered as misuse of my information for their gains? Please let us know what I should do to take my name of from all these places.

Asked on July 20, 2011 Virginia

Answers:

MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

It is absolutely illegal for them to use your information without your permission and to obtain benefits they otherwise would not qualify for. So you need to consider discussing with an attorney a letter to send them indicating they cease and desist from such use or you will be forced to sue and you may even consider simply reporting them to the small business administration and attorney general for what they are doing. Ultimately, it may be identity theft if they are getting benefits in your name. To truly know, you may wish to order your credit reports from the three top credit reporting companies and see if this is still happening.


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