Can you choose a business name that is in use?

On Behalf of | May 18, 2022 | Business Law |

You come up with the perfect name for your new business. You know that it’s going to help with your branding, it describes your mission very well and you get your business partner to sign off on it.

Then you do a quick search to see if that business already exists, and you’re disheartened to find out that it does. There’s another company that already uses that name. Can you still choose it for your business or not? 

Is the business in the same area?

The first thing to consider is the geographical location of that other business. If it’s nowhere near your local business, then it will often not be a problem if you have the same name. If you’ve simply discovered that someone else has used the name in a different state, your own usage may still be allowed because it won’t be confusing to your potential consumers.

Is the business in the same industry?

You can even have the same name as a business that’s near to you if you’re working in a very different industry. If you’re starting a business installing residential windows and you find out that you have the same name as a company that owns a local restaurant chain, you may be allowed to keep it. Once again, there would be no confusion between consumers since these are such different areas. 

How famous is the name?

Finally, you have to determine if the name you want to use is considered to be very famous or not. You can’t use the same name as a major corporation like Apple or Walmart.

As you get ready to start your business, take the time to go through your legal options. The time investment you make now can definitely pay off in the future.