Florida is a popular state for entrepreneurs who want to start new businesses. Though owning a business can be rewarding, being a business owner comes with many challenges. Unfortunately, challenges sometimes begin when another party makes false statements intended to harm your business, a practice known as commercial disparagement. Fortunately, there are ways to spot it, so you can take action.
What is commercial disparagement?
In the legal world, commercial disparagement goes by many names, including trade libel or business disparagement. It occurs when one party makes a disparaging or derogatory statement that harms a company or practice’s ability to earn money. Being one of many types of business torts, affected companies have the right to pursue legal action after commercial disparagement.
No matter the situation, a company dealing with potential commercial disparagement must prove that several distinct things happened:
- One party made a false and derogatory statement.
- A third party published the same statement.
- Another party’s statement was untrue and malicious.
- This statement damaged your business in some way.
Preventing commercial disparagement
It’s impossible to prevent a person or other business from making disparaging statements about your company or practice. However, you can take steps to spot these statements and hold the offending party responsible.
- Regularly conduct online searches about your business on social media, websites, forums and other online destinations.
- If you find false statements concerning your company, respond accordingly with the truth.
- Take record of commercially disparaging remarks, including names, email addresses and derogatory comments.
Commercial disparagement can be an extremely costly situation for a business. You can help prevent internal disparagement by clearly communicating to employees, stakeholders and business partners the seriousness of making disparaging statements about your company.