The following information is provided as a guide only and while every reasonable effort has been made to ensure the information is accurate at the time of publication on this page, it should not be relied on as legal advice or regarded as a substitute for legal advice in individual cases.
I have recently purchased a business. Can I contact customers of the previous owners?
If customers have consented to receiving commercial electronic messages from a business and that business changes hands, their consent to receive messages from the new owners may not always exist. If you are considering taking over a business, you should find out exactly what messages customers have already consented to receive. If you don't know what they consented to, it may be best not to send commercial electronic messages.
In the first instance, you will need to understand the consent arrangements that exist between the business and its customers or potential customers, particularly if you, as the new owner, are intending to start e-marketing the businesses products or services for the first time. See also gaining legitimate consent.
This is particularly important because the Spam Act requires that you be able to prove that consent exists when you send commercial electronic messages.
If a customer consented to receiving messages about particular types of products or services, and the new owners continue to promote the same products or services, then the customer's express consent probably continues (unless they withdraw it). This applies regardless of whether the business name remains the same.