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An individual who enters another's premises as a result of an express or implied invitation of the owner or occupant for their mutual gain or benefit.

For example, a customer in a restaurant or a depositor entering a bank to cash a check are both invitees. The owner or occupier of the premises onto which an invitee goes has a duty to exercise reasonable care for such invitee's protection.

An invitee is distinguishable from a licensee, who enters another's premises with the occupier's consent, but for his or her own purpose or benefit alone. A further distinction exists between an invitee and a trespasser, or one who intentionally enters another's property without consent or permission.

West's Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


n. a person who comes onto another's property, premises or business establishment upon invitation. The invitation may be direct and express or "implied," as when a shop is open and the public is expected to enter to inspect, purchase or otherwise do business on the premises. It may be legally important, because an invitee is entitled to assume safe conditions on the property or premises, so the owner or proprietor might be liable for any injury suffered by the invitee while on the property due to an unsafe condition which is not obvious to the invitee (a latent defect) and not due to the invitee's own negligence. An invitee is distinguished from a trespasser who cuts across the owner's vacant lot, a person who comes into the store to use the bathroom (although a clever lawyer will claim this is a good-will aspect to the business in which the public is impliedly invited), or a burglar who falls through a faulty skylight. Examples of and invitee's failed expected conditions: a person falls through covered-over wells, faulty stairs, weak floors, slippery floors on rainy days (a favorite), spills of jam which are not promptly cleaned up although known to the management, lack of adequate security guards to protect against muggers, and various careless acts of retail employees. (See: negligence)

Copyright © 1981-2005 by Gerald N. Hill and Kathleen T. Hill. All Right reserved.


a person invited on to premises and thus of significance in occupier's liability but only specially so in English law.
Collins Dictionary of Law © W.J. Stewart, 2006
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