Can I sell my client list from an existing home based business?

UPDATED: Jan 25, 2011

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Can I sell my client list from an existing home based business?

I have a small skin care salon located in my home. I am in approved zoning and am fully licensed. I will be 65 in April and want to retire. My most valuable asset is my client list. Could you offer suggestions as to how I might sell this client list to a person starting up her own business?

Asked on January 25, 2011 under Business Law, Wisconsin


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

1) Can you sell your client list? Sure--as long as in getting those clients, you did not promise them or otherwise agree in some fashion that you would not sell or share the list. If you did, you must abide by your committment; otherwise, you're ok.

2) In terms of gettinig potential customers, try advertising (probably online--less expensive) on any websites that list businesses for sale or any website catering to your industry. You could also try to market through the local chamber of commerce and possibly at any local schools which train people in your field or provide support to entrepreneurs. Also consider directly contacting other people in your field locally, either owners or existing businesses or their employees who may wish to open up on their own.

3) Be sure to have anyone execute a confidentiality and non-disclosure agreement before sharing any information with them. The agreement should recite that the information is yours and is confidenntial; that any discussions or documents or information is provided only so the other party can evauate a potential business deal; that the other party will not use or disclose the information to others; and that if there is a breach, you may sue for both a certain amount of liquidated damages (e.g. $10k) and for injunctive relief (an order that they can't disclose). If you do a websearch, yoiu should be able to find model or sample agreements.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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