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Michael Bradley
Michael Bradley,
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 1076
Experience:  Owner at The Protection Group LLC
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I was wondering if I was to start a business(LLC) and in an

Customer Question

Good evening! I was wondering if I was to start a business(LLC) and in an other state there was a business with the same name, could there be legal action against me?
JA: Can you tell me what state the LLC is registered in?
Customer: TX
JA: Has anything been filed or reported?
Customer: No, I was contacted by a gentle man in GA stating that the business name was pattened and its a INC.
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: Yes, I was wanting to make a name change so I wanted to cover all bases.
Submitted: 2 months ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Michael Bradley replied 2 months ago.

how did he find out about you?

Expert:  Michael Bradley replied 2 months ago.

As they say: "There is nothing new under the sun." So, it should come as no surprise that different people will want to choose the same business name.

Generally, as long as no one else in your state is using that business name, you can call your company whatever you like. Names are ***** ***** on a first-come, first-served basis. If your exact business name is ***** ***** another company, your state's Secretary of State will not permit duplications so as to avoid confusion.

That said, you can run into trademark issues if your business and another's fall within the same category or are substantially similar. You can be found liable for trademark infringement or trademark dilution if you insist on pursuing your name without regard to how others are using it.

In particular, if you find that these "others" are large, multinational corporations then you may want to consider choosing a different name rather than risk a long, drawn-out lawsuit.

To avoid a possible fracas, you'd be well served by doing a trademark search to find out which other companies may be using in your exact (or similar) name and whether they are using it in the same way. To do this, I recommend working with an attorney to help you with the process. Otherwise, you can go to LegalZoom.com and order a "comprehensive U.S." search, assuming you're not doing business overseas.

Expert:  Michael Bradley replied 2 months ago.

the short answer is that as long as your state has the name available you can lawfully obtain it.

if you are not planning on doing work in the other state it should not be an issue.

if you have not started the business you may want to think about another name.

By the way, what is the name you are looking at and the other business' name?