In a salon, what is a booth renter’s right to use their own credit card servicer?

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In a salon, what is a booth renter’s right to use their own credit card servicer?

My salon charges booth renters 7% of all credit card sales. Because I am in business for myself, I found an alternative credit card processing company in Square, that only charges me 2.75%. The salon owners have told me that I am not allowed to use my own processing system, but as an independent contractor, isn’t the way I accept payments from my clients up to my discretion?

Asked on November 24, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Georgia

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

The issue depends on the lease or other agreement between you and the salon. If there is a written agreement, its terms control--and also, the parties may not add additional terms to it. So if there is a written agreement and it says you have to have the salon process cards, you have to do that--but if the agreement is silent on the subject, they cannot require you do so. (They can add this to the lease when it is up for renewal, however.)

If there is no written agreement--or a written agreement that, by its terms, if month to month--then the salon as your landlord can give you a month's notice changing the terms of your rental and requiring you to use them; if you refuse to do so, they could terminate your tenancy.

So, yes, in one sense, you have the right to choose what service you use--and you landlord has the right, under the conditions above, to choose to not rent to you if you will not use them.

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

From what you have written absent a written agreement between you and the salon owner to the contrary you are entitled to use the payment system that best suits your needs since you are an independent contractor and not an employee. If you desire your processing system, then you should utilize it.


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