What is the difference between an invitee and a licensee in a premises liability case?

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As a result of a property owner’s negligence, an individual may sustain significant injuries due to hazardous conditions on the premises. Under premises liability, property owners are legally required to uphold a certain duty of care. Essentially, this means they must remedy any unsafe conditions promptly to maintain safe premises. Regardless of why you were on a property, if you have been injured due to the negligence of a property owner, please read on and contact a determined St. Mary’s County Slip and Fall Lawyer. Our firm can assist you in proving a property owner owed you a standard duty of care. 

What separates invitees and licensees?

Ultimately, both invitees and licensees are legally entitled to be on a property. However, when it comes to their reasoning or purpose for being on the property, there is a distinct difference. Essentially, invitees are usually invited for business purposes while a licensee is there for social purposes. Regardless of the purpose of being on a property, property owners owe certain parties a standard duty of care. The following parties may be owed a duty of care:


Invitees are individuals who landowners explicitly have invited onto their property. When it comes to duty of care, property owners owe invitees the highest duty of care as they were permitted to be on the property. Invitees are invited for business or commercial purposes. Invitees may include shoppers at a supermarket or contractors working on a home.


A licensee is a person that has implied permission to enter the property, however, they are there of their own volition. Licensees have limited rights as they are only granted limited authority to remain on-premises. Typically, licensees are salesmen, utility workers, or a person visiting their friends. Licensees are typically known as social visitors. Property owners owe licensees a duty of care, meaning they must maintain safe conditions for anyone invited onto the property.


A trespasser is an individual who does not have consent or permission to be on another person’s property. In most cases, trespassers have no legal grounds when it comes to premises liability as they did not have consent to be on the property. Property owners do not owe trespassers a standard duty of care. However, under certain circumstances, a trespasser may be owed a certain degree of care. If a trespasser was injured on a property that did not have the proper warning signs informing individuals that the premises were dangerous, a property owner may be liable.

In the unfortunate event that you or someone you love has been injured on another person’s property as a result of their negligence, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with one of our knowledgeable and dedicated team members. Our firm is committed to helping our clients understand their rights when sustaining an injury on another person’s property. Allow our firm to represent your interests today.