Advice When Sending Cease and Desist Letters for Your Business

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If your business is getting bad press from another business owner, or you are being harassed online, or your company is suffering because someone is stealing content from your website, your first cause of action could be sending a cease-and-desist letter to provide two things:

  • Notice you are aware of the behavior
  • Warning to cease such behavior

The steps they take following a cease-and-desist letter being sent will determine your next steps.
We’ll Cover the Following:

  • How to use a Cease-and-Desist Letter
  • What to Avoid with a Cease-and-Desist Letter
  • Who Can Send a Cease-and-Desist Notice?
  • Can You Enforce a Cease-and-Desist Notice?

How to use a Cease-and-Desist Letter

You can use a cease-and-desist letter for a number of issues which could be a problem for your business. As previously stated, a cease-and-desist puts a person or business on notice that you are aware of their behavior and that you wish for them to stop specific actions or you will pursue further action.

A cease-and-desist letter should outline the following:

  • Your name and contact information
  • The offending party’s name and contact information
  • A clear description of the offending party’s actions
  • A clear indication you will pursue legal action if necessary

Once you have customized your cease-and-desist letter template, you will want to send it by certified mail. However, in some cases, you may also opt to send the letter electronically (with a return receipt indicating the person has received/opened).

What to Avoid with a Cease-and-Desist Letter

When you are creating a cease-and-desist letter there are some things you should avoid doing at all costs. These include:

  • Unfounded accusations — before you send a cease-and-desist letter, make sure you have evidence to back up the accusation you are making. Not having a clear indication of a party’s wrongdoing could lead to legal problems for you.
  • Idle threats — you will not do yourself any favors by taking a threatening tone with a cease-and-desist letter. While you should reference that you intend to follow through legally should the behavior not stop, do not make it sound like you have already done so (unless you have)

When you are asking someone to stop a certain type of behavior or action, make sure the time frame you provide is reasonable. For example, it takes time to remove items from a website so 24 hours’ notice would be insufficient.

Who Can Send a Cease-and-Desist Notice?

Any person or business owner who feels their rights are being violated, whether due to harassment, theft of intellectual property, or false statements being made can send a cease-and-desist notice. These notices may be sent in the event of a breach of contract, if you are getting harassing telephone calls, or for other action which infringes on your rights by another party. You can also use a cease-and-desist letter if someone has violated a non-disclosure agreement.

Can You Enforce a Cease-and-Desist Notice?

It is important to remember a cease-and-desist notice is not a legal action, it is merely a document. If you need to further pursue the person who is causing harm to your business, you will need to seek legal assistance and determine what the process would be for holding the party accountable for their actions.

Helpful Resources:

E-Signing and Cease and Desist Letters

While a cease-and-desist letter requires only your signature before being sent to another party, you do have the option of sending the letter electronically. Once you have completed your cease-and-desist letter template and you are happy with the outcome, you can send it to the other party by using Nitro. While our system is designed to be used to gather signatures, you can also use it to show the party is in receipt of your demand. Start your free trial of Nitro today.

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