What if banker stole business plan - Sour grapes or legal case?
by thomp679, Window Shopper
- Created: March 6, 2011, 12:05 pm
- Updated: March 7, 2011, 10:02 am
Need advice. Did I just learn a lesson or do I have possible legal recourse?I approached a banker for a SBA loan. I had an extensive business plan that I had worked on for 18 months which included the actual location of the planned business. I am young (20), so getting financing was the biggest concern, but I had a fully qualified person to personally guarantee the loan, but was still turned down. The loan request was $150k with $90k in equipment. I had also stated I would put in $50k in equity, but was open to obtaining more equity through my financial partner if necessary. I did not have a non-disclosure form signed. The business concept is fast growing throughout the country. However, there is not a single store in our entire state. I have been monitoring the industry extensively for two years. The leading product supplier did not have a single account in our state and the leading and almost exclusive equipment vendor had no one looking at equipment. After waiting about 1 1/2 weeks, I got turned down by the bank, I tried to contact the real estate agent at the point in time as my financial backer was going to finance it himself, but she didn't return the calls for over a week saying she was out sick,and now unfortunately the space I had wanted got rented in the mean time. Ironically, that space has the exact some business that we laiid out in the business plan going into it. If its not pure coincidence, I would say the banker stole the idea or passed it on to someone. If we can prove there is a connection, do we have any recourse with the bank or banker? I was leary of exposing the idea for this very reason, but I had to in order to obtain financing. Some people will say thats business, but I feel that the bank had the expectation to provide confidentiality.The space is now under construction so it will be a couple of months before they open. Maybe I have the opportunity to teach them a lesson. I had fully expected competition once I opened and I am fine with that. It is that with a fully qualified financial backer that the loan of $150k was turned down, and then within this three week period (the time waiting for the bank to review the loan and trying to reach the real estate agent) the exact same location with the exact business concept (first in the state) the space gets leased. I can go to another part of town and still proceed, but I feel that it is the principle of the fact that I cannot go to a bank without having the idea stolen by the person I seek help from. Any advice? Do I have any legal recourse on the bank or banker assuming this is not pure coincidence? Or am I throwing away money by pursuing something that has no grounds to stand on?
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