Being a business owner is incredibly difficult. Outside of the typical challenges that come with running a business, business owners also have to be vigilant and always on the lookout for potential threats. And while some of these threats can be rather obvious some of them are more inconspicuous. So much so that some threats may come in the form of a business deal or opportunity that seems too good to be true.
These deceptive trade practices can be incredibly detrimental to your business as they can do serious damage that will set your business back. The best way to avoid deceptive trade practices is to fully inform yourself about them. This is why we’ve put together a succinct discussion on deceptive trade practices. Take note that this article is geared towards deceptive trade practices in Alabama, which means the information that’s listed here may not apply to your state.
Deceptive Trade Practice Laws
One of the best things you can do to protect your business from deceptive trade practices is to be fully informed of all the protections put in place to deter these practices. And while Alabama has not adopted the Uniform Deceptive Trade Practices Act, Alabama has put protections in place to safeguard consumers and businesses. Under Alabama’s criminal code, within the section dealing with forgery and fraudulent practices, is Section 13A-9-42, which deals with false advertising. This section details that a person is committing false advertising if he or she makes false or misleading statements in any advertisement addressed to the public or a substantial number of persons in order to promote the transfer, sale, use, or consumption of property or services. Despite how thorough it may seem, it’s important to note that a person can only be found guilty of false advertising if it can be proved that they acted with the intention to mislead.
Consequences of False Advertising
If a person is found guilty of false advertising, they will be ordered to pay for actual damages that go up to $100. Depending on this situation and how much harm has been done, a judge can order a defendant to pay up to three times the actual damages. If the defendant is a repeat offender, they may be forced to pay a civil penalty of up to $25,000 per violation on top of the actual damages.
Best Ways to Protect Yourself From Deceptive Trade Practices
It can be rather tricky to protect yourself from deceptive trade practices. The best way to do this would be to hire a knowledgeable and experienced business lawyer that will advise you on all your dealings. While it may seem costly, it’s better to look at it as an investment that will protect your business’ interest in the long run.
Hopefully, this article has helped shed some light on deceptive trade practices and how you can best protect your business from them. While it may seem difficult, taking the time to inform yourself on this subject will already be a huge help when it comes to safeguarding your interests. For more specific questions about this subject, it would be best to speak with a business lawyer.
Our lawyers here at McCallum, Hoaglund & McCallum, LLP bring more than 75 years of experience to the practice of law. From our office in Birmingham, Alabama, we passionately seek justice for our clients in state and federal courts in areas ranging from complex business litigation, medical malpractice defense, insurance defense, and products liability to commercial litigation, construction law, securities, and contracts litigation, employment litigation and more. For more information on what we can do, visit our website today