The Entrepreneur Forum | Financial Freedom | Starting a Business | Motivation | Money | Success

The Entrepreneur's Forum for learning how to build wealth and financial freedom the Fastlane way!

Say "NO" to mediocre living rife with jobs, ascetic frugality, and suffocating savings rituals— learn how to build a Fastlane business that pays both freedom and lifestyle affluence. Join our forum with more than 70,000 entrepreneurs who are making it happen.
Join for FREE Today
Get the books
Remove ads? Join Fastlane INSIDERS
(Registration removes this block)

Can I be sued?

threecommas

New Contributor
Read Fastlane!
Feb 3, 2018
5
7
30
Miami
First off i'm not sure if this is the right section, if its not mods please move the thread. As my low bank rep shows i'm new here.

Now. As I sit here in Starbucks about to finish Unscripted , an Idea stuck me. Ten seconds of googling later aaand its already been done. By one guy, badly. I can confidently implement the idea much better.

My question is this. How can I protect myself from being sued down the line? This is a brick and mortar business with Intentional Iteration as the main scaling method. My idea does not copy the current business to the T, but its close enough where if my business takes off, I can see a lawyer taking on the case just to have me settle and make him go away. How do I prevent this?

Any help would be much appreciated. Thanks.
 
Don't like ads? Remove them while supporting the forum: Subscribe to Fastlane Insiders.

Vigilante

Legendary Contributor
Staff member
FASTLANE INSIDER
EPIC CONTRIBUTOR
Read Fastlane!
Read Unscripted!
Summit Attendee
Speedway Pass
Oct 31, 2011
10,898
64,573
Gulf Coast
First off i'm not sure if this is the right section, if its not mods please move the thread. As my low bank rep shows i'm new here.

Now. As I sit here in Starbucks about to finish Unscripted , an Idea stuck me. Ten seconds of googling later aaand its already been done. By one guy, badly. I can confidently implement the idea much better.

My question is this. How can I protect myself from being sued down the line? This is a brick and mortar business with Intentional Iteration as the main scaling method. My idea does not copy the current business to the T, but its close enough where if my business takes off, I can see a lawyer taking on the case just to have me settle and make him go away. How do I prevent this?

Any help would be much appreciated. Thanks.

Anybody can sue you at any time for any reason. They don't even need to be correct.

When I was younger I sued doctor' office for wasting my time. They settled.
 

EricFromCanada

Bronze Contributor
Read Fastlane!
Read Unscripted!
Speedway Pass
Jun 19, 2017
80
131
Canada
So ignore this guy and continue?
Yes. Speaking from my own experience, I would not be focused on being sued when you are just starting out. Instead, I would recommend you focus on ways you can innovate your business past the competitors.
P.S. welcome to the forum!
 
Don't like ads? Remove them while supporting the forum: Subscribe to Fastlane Insiders.

Coalission

Gold Contributor
Read Fastlane!
Speedway Pass
Jan 8, 2014
352
1,673
My idea does not copy the current business to the T, but its close enough where if my business takes off, I can see a lawyer taking on the case just to have me settle and make him go away. How do I prevent this?

The question is, why do you care so much about preventing it?

If it's a good idea being executed poorly, then they are doing the world a disservice. Start your company, rack up the revenue, get sued, settle, continue pushing big numbers. I don't see what the big deal is. If they are smart, they'll wait until you're big enough for a big payout before they sue, and even then it doesn't matter. Every big company has been sued a gazillion times, your revenue should far outweigh any settlement required, and you don't have to make it easy for them to collect.

This is like being afraid of starting a business because if you're successful you'll have to pay a lot of taxes. The money coming in should outweigh whatever goes out. Just move forward, break stuff, get in a little trouble, make sure you do it under an entity separate from your person like an LLC, and you'll be alright. When I lost my lawsuit virginity, I thought it would be the end of the world. It wasn't.
 

cmor16

Gold Contributor
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Fastlane!
Read Unscripted!
Speedway Pass
Oct 30, 2016
474
1,616
50
Nova Scotia, Canada
Unless you are blatantly ripping off their brand, don't worry about it.

Nearly every new B&M business is an iteration of an existing one. If I wanted to start an electronics store, could Best Buy sue me?? If I started a grocery store, could Walmart sue me? How about an Italian restaurant, or a pizza joint, etc., etc., etc. The list is endless.

Don't worry about it and go after it.
 

threecommas

New Contributor
Read Fastlane!
Feb 3, 2018
5
7
30
Miami
This is like being afraid of starting a business because if you're successful you'll have to pay a lot of taxes. The money coming in should outweigh whatever goes out. Just move forward, break stuff, get in a little trouble, make sure you do it under an entity separate from your person like an LLC, and you'll be alright. When I lost my lawsuit virginity, I thought it would be the end of the world. It wasn't.

Thanks for this. Good way to put it into perspective.

Unless you are blatantly ripping off their brand, don't worry about it.

Nearly every new B&M business is an iteration of an existing one. If I wanted to start an electronics store, could Best Buy sue me?? If I started a grocery store, could Walmart sue me? How about an Italian restaurant, or a pizza joint, etc., etc., etc. The list is endless.

Don't worry about it and go after it.

I guess if i was going into an already crowded market like electronics (Best Buy), groceries (Walmart), this thought would have never entered my mind because I'd be irrelevant to the majority of established players.

When I'm popping up with a slight (but significant) change to a business that only has 1 existing competitor, i can see from their point of view how they would want to sue the new guy out of existence. I know I would.

But it goes back to the point made by @Coalission. Losing the lawsuit virginity is part of the process.
 
Don't like ads? Remove them while supporting the forum: Subscribe to Fastlane Insiders.

Real Deal Denver

Gold Contributor
Read Fastlane!
Read Unscripted!
Speedway Pass
Jan 13, 2018
888
2,161
68
Denver, Colorado
Anybody can sue you at any time for any reason. They don't even need to be correct.

When I was younger I sued doctor' office for wasting my time. They settled.

WOW. Just WOW!!!

We need the details on this. I'm involved with my cell phone service right now for wasting time like you would not believe. Two hours one day - three hours the very next day - and I'm exactly where I started. They have departments and people in name only - there is nobody that can actually do anything to help you - but they won't tell you that. Instead, they'll transfer you around the entire company until you die of old age.

We. Need. Details. These are the stories we seek out. The juicy flavorful ones...
 

G-Man

Cantankerous Contributor
EPIC CONTRIBUTOR
Read Fastlane!
Read Unscripted!
Summit Attendee
Speedway Pass
Jan 13, 2014
1,989
10,710
When I was younger I sued doctor' office for wasting my time. They settled.

I need your lawyer, man. I got my hand broken in a car accident a couple years ago and 6 months later, got 5k. When I went to pick up that pathetic check, the lawyer couldn't wait to show me that he'd gotten a hand carved copy of the Resolute Desk in his office. Maybe I need to get your lawyer to sue my lawyer.
 

Vigilante

Legendary Contributor
Staff member
FASTLANE INSIDER
EPIC CONTRIBUTOR
Read Fastlane!
Read Unscripted!
Summit Attendee
Speedway Pass
Oct 31, 2011
10,898
64,573
Gulf Coast
I need your lawyer, man. I got my hand broken in a car accident a couple years ago and 6 months later, got 5k. When I went to pick up that pathetic check, the lawyer couldn't wait to show me that he'd gotten a hand carved copy of the Resolute Desk in his office. Maybe I need to get your lawyer to sue my lawyer.

I did that one Pro Se.

Lawyers suck.
 
Don't like ads? Remove them while supporting the forum: Subscribe to Fastlane Insiders.

MJ DeMarco

I followed the science; all I found was money.
Staff member
FASTLANE INSIDER
EPIC CONTRIBUTOR
Read Rat-Race Escape!
Read Fastlane!
Read Unscripted!
Summit Attendee
Speedway Pass
Jul 23, 2007
35,620
142,135
Utah
As mentioned, anyone can sue for any reason.

Doesn't make the claim valid or a good use of money.

Bottomline, are you stealing something from the other company?

Or is it just an idea executed better?

GoTo was the first company to create a pay-per-click ad model.

Now everyone does it.
 

Kak

Proudly Unreasonable
FASTLANE INSIDER
EPIC CONTRIBUTOR
Read Fastlane!
Read Unscripted!
Summit Attendee
Speedway Pass
Jan 23, 2011
8,987
39,984
32
Texas
Do they have a case? Not really.

Can you still get sued? Yep.

Will they sue? Probably not.

Should you be afraid? No.

I’ve sued several companies without a good case before and they settled. Mostly scumbag insurance companies, real estate stuff, companies that bury stuff in the fine print and warranty providers. I don’t get screwed. I have never hired a lawyer to do any of this.
 
Last edited:

WJK

Legendary Contributor
EPIC CONTRIBUTOR
Speedway Pass
Oct 9, 2017
2,556
5,905
Alaska
First off i'm not sure if this is the right section, if its not mods please move the thread. As my low bank rep shows i'm new here.

Now. As I sit here in Starbucks about to finish Unscripted , an Idea stuck me. Ten seconds of googling later aaand its already been done. By one guy, badly. I can confidently implement the idea much better.

My question is this. How can I protect myself from being sued down the line? This is a brick and mortar business with Intentional Iteration as the main scaling method. My idea does not copy the current business to the T, but its close enough where if my business takes off, I can see a lawyer taking on the case just to have me settle and make him go away. How do I prevent this?

Any help would be much appreciated. Thanks.
You're putting the cart before the horse. Get successful first. That's step #1. A good attorney can build you safety net... but, you have to make money to pay that attorney... and you must create something that is worth protecting...

There are two classes of people in the world who are basically sue proof -- people who have LOTS of money and people who have no money. The first group have enough, that they can fight the fight at arm's length, without it hurting too bad. They generally send a "big stick" to do their fighting. The second group has nothing for anyone to gain, so they are immune. Like my Grandmother used to tell me, you can't get blood out of a turnip. Who wants to sue a homeless person?

It's all of us guys in between who have problems with the legal system.

Here's your short answer: If you go to work for someone else, get deeply in debt while muddling along with all of the payments, and rent an apartment for the rest of your life, you probably won't be sued. You'll be one step up from the homeless guy...
 
Don't like ads? Remove them while supporting the forum: Subscribe to Fastlane Insiders.

ZCP

Legendary Contributor
Staff member
FASTLANE INSIDER
EPIC CONTRIBUTOR
Read Rat-Race Escape!
Read Fastlane!
Read Unscripted!
Summit Attendee
Speedway Pass
Oct 22, 2010
3,441
11,632
Woodstock, GA
You will get cancer.
You will be sued.

Now move on and get some work done!
 

Post New Topic

Please SEARCH before posting.
Please select the BEST category.

Post new topic

Guest post submissions offered HERE.

Must Read Books...

must read books
Download FREE and share!
Download
Explore books recommended by MJ DeMarco and other members of the Fastlane entrepreneurial community.
Fastlane Bookstore

New Topics

Fastlane Insiders

View the forum AD FREE.
Private, unindexed content
Detailed process/execution threads
Ideas needing execution, more!

Join Fastlane Insiders.

Top