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Question added to topic Online MarketingMarch 6, 2009

Do you need permission from a business before posting a recommendation for their services?

I have created a website to help parents find good doctors in different specialty areas for children based on my own experience with my child. I have not posted any information about any doctors yet -- but wanted to make sure that I was not doing anything illegal.

Generally, you would not run into legal issues if you post a positive recommendation concerning a doctor's services. As a matter of good form, however, you may want to contact the doctor in advance...there may be professional reasons that the doctor would not want to be associated with your site or not welcome the publicity in that form. (Usually, though, people are happy for the good press).

Note though, that you could run into an issue if your site expands to include not just recommendations, but also evaluations (which may not be so positive) of doctors. You may want to consult with an attorney who specializes in defamation (libel) law so that you have proper guidelines for what you should and should not do.

Nina L. Kaufman, Esq. is an award-winning New York City attorney, edutainer and author. Under her Ask The Business Lawyer brand, she reaches thousands of entrepreneurs and small business owners with her legal services, professional speaking, information products, and LexAppeal weekly ezine. She also writes the Making It Legal blog.

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