Dickson, TN asked in Business Formation, Business Law, Civil Litigation and Contracts for Tennessee

Q: A business was given to my friend and the boss changed her mind and wants it back. Nothing has been signed yet.

My friend has made construction changes to the business and revamped it partially. The old boss started her new job and they are waiting for the lawyer to come back in town to sign the papers. Also, the old boss announced the change on social media that my friend was taking over and would buy her out and she made it official. But, as I said nothing has been signed. She now wants the business back because she doesn't like her new job. Does she have a case with the admissions on social media?

1 Lawyer Answer
Mr. James Charles Wright
Mr. James Charles Wright
  • Knoxville, TN
  • Licensed in Tennessee

A: Interesting issues here. Assuming the following.

Your friend had reached an oral agreement to buy a business.

As a result he started actually operating the business including doing some construction work.

The old owner started a new job. - and was out of town. She was to sign papers formally selling the business when she returned.

On social media she published she had sold the business.

She has returned and now wants to keep the business.

You do not mention any writing like a memoradum of understanding or other writing setting out terms of the deal.

so I am assuming there is nothing in writing.

Oral agreements to sell a business are enforecable in Tennessee. If there was an agreement to sell where she said I will sell for X and your freind said I agree- then there is an agreement.

Even if there may not be a clear oral agreement an implied contract can arise from the conduct of the parties.

I am attaching a link to a blog site that might be helpful.


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