Deceptive, unfair practices can lead to serious penalties

Business owners across Florida go to great lengths to protect their company and its interests. In many cases, this means establishing trust with consumers and other partners. However, some companies break this trust -- intentionally or not -- by engaging in unlawful or questionable practices in an attempt to be successful or competitive.

If this happens, companies and individuals can find themselves in some serious trouble if they engage in acts that violate state or federal deceptive and unfair trade practice laws.

Unfair and deceptive trade practices include acts that are intended to misrepresent a service, hide or lie about fees, falsify sales data or promote a product or service based on inaccurate or exaggerated information.

For example, let's consider a situation where a manufacturer enters an agreement with a company to provide a certain product. If that manufacturer lies about its product, inflates claims about the product, misrepresents its ability to fulfill orders of the product, provides a product that has been altered from the original or hides fees when charging the company, the manufacturer can face legal consequences for deceptive trade practices.

In Florida, consumer protection laws are in place to penalize companies or individuals that engage in deceptive trade practices. These penalties can include thousands of dollars in civil penalties, orders for restitution and a cease and desist order. Additionally, the company's reputation can be irreparably damaged.

Because the penalties of these practices can be so severe, it is crucial that companies and individuals take claims of misconduct seriously. If you are involved in this type of dispute, it can be wise to speak with a commercial litigation attorney who can help you understand your rights and your options for resolving the matter.