Can A Buisness Have The Same Name As Another Buisness?

Business By jessi01 Updated 23 Sep 2010 , 3:05am by loriemoms

jessi01 Posted 21 Sep 2010 , 3:56pm
post #1 of 14

IF it is in a different state?? Just wondering since I am in the process of writing my buisness plan in the hopes to open a cupcake cafe in the near future... any name I think of turns out is already taken!!! icon_cry.gif
Does anyone know about this?

13 replies
jason_kraft Posted 21 Sep 2010 , 4:05pm
post #2 of 14

Yes, as long as the name is not trademarked. I would recommend against having exactly the same business name though. For example, instead of "Jessica's Desserts", you could do something like "Desserts by Jessica" or "Jessica's Dessert Delights".

mayo2222 Posted 21 Sep 2010 , 6:11pm
post #3 of 14

Just because someone else hasn't trademarked their name doesn't mean they they don't have rights over the name/mark, but it does give them more recourse and stronger protection of their name.

Normally it is the person who first uses a certain name that has the stronger rights to a name, even if they don't have it trademarked.


In your situation you are considering using the same name or very similar, in the same business (cake decorating), but you are in different geographical area. It you lived in the same town, I would advise you to definitately (and probably obiviously) not to use the same name, but since you live in a different state and cakes (normally) have a limited sales area you are probably okay. The other company would have to prove that someone would confuse your company for theirs and on top of that, that you are costing them business.

loriemoms Posted 21 Sep 2010 , 9:44pm
post #4 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by jessi01

IF it is in a different state?? Just wondering since I am in the process of writing my buisness plan in the hopes to open a cupcake cafe in the near future... any name I think of turns out is already taken!!! icon_cry.gif
Does anyone know about this?




Shoot, the name of my business is Simply Cakes. There is one in California, England and Florida. Nobody can use the name of my company in my state (I am LLCd) but nothing to stop you from using a name that another state is using..... just check to make sure you can't use the same name in your state.

jason_kraft Posted 21 Sep 2010 , 9:49pm
post #5 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by loriemoms

Shoot, the name of my business is Simply Cakes. There is one in California, England and Florida. Nobody can use the name of my company in my state (I am LLCd) but nothing to stop you from using a name that another state is using..... just check to make sure you can't use the same name in your state.



In some states business names are handled on a per-county basis, so someone may be able register their business legitimately as Example Company LLC d/b/a Simply Cakes in a different county within your state.

mombabytiger Posted 22 Sep 2010 , 1:31am
post #6 of 14

I once worked in a restaurant that had the same name as a restaurant group in another state. The group sent lawyer letters and the our restaurant owner was out over $16,000 when he had to change the name. That probably won't happen to you, I'm just sayin'....

cutthecake Posted 22 Sep 2010 , 1:53am
post #7 of 14

Why and how are there so many "Vinny's Pizzerias" everywhere?

jason_kraft Posted 22 Sep 2010 , 2:33am
post #8 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by cutthecake

Why and how are there so many "Vinny's Pizzerias" everywhere?



Probably because most Vinny's Pizzerias don't have a staff of lawyers. icon_wink.gif

Filing suit is an expensive proposition and most small businesses don't bother unless it is a serious issue. The example cited by mombabytiger probably involved a much larger company (the restaurant group) suing a smaller one.

adventuregal Posted 22 Sep 2010 , 2:52am
post #9 of 14

I would stay away from that as much as you can, but some times its hard with generic names like Decadent Desserts or some thing that we've heard alot before. If you can, I'd say step out of the box icon_smile.gif In saying that I do believe it's legal to have the same name-you just have to check with your licensing center. I went through names about 100 times before choosing on one-there could be a totally unique one calling to you!

indydebi Posted 22 Sep 2010 , 4:49am
post #10 of 14

don't forget we live in an electronic age now and businesses that aren't right next door to each other still share the same space and are "neighbors" on the internet.

If there are two businesses named "Sally Sue Cakes", then there is the potential of fighting over the website of "w w w. SallySueCakes.com" .

You don't have to be in the same phone book to be listed right next to each other anymore.

cutthecake Posted 22 Sep 2010 , 1:31pm
post #11 of 14

[quote="jasonkraft"
Probably because most Vinny's Pizzerias don't have a staff of lawyers. icon_wink.gif
[/quote]

That's quite an assumption. Bakeries have lawyers, pizzerias don't?

sweetlayers Posted 22 Sep 2010 , 2:08pm
post #12 of 14

Do you have to have an attorney file your info for trademarks? Or is it easy like getting an EIN?

jason_kraft Posted 22 Sep 2010 , 3:35pm
post #13 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by cutthecake

[quote="jasonkraft"
Probably because most Vinny's Pizzerias don't have a staff of lawyers. icon_wink.gif




That's quite an assumption. Bakeries have lawyers, pizzerias don't?[/quote]
I doubt most bakeries have lawyers on staff unless they are larger businesses or chains. They may contract the services of a lawyer when necessary, but -- like small pizzerias -- the staff is typically focused on manufacturing instead of IP protection.

loriemoms Posted 23 Sep 2010 , 3:05am
post #14 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

don't forget we live in an electronic age now and businesses that aren't right next door to each other still share the same space and are "neighbors" on the internet.

If there are two businesses named "Sally Sue Cakes", then there is the potential of fighting over the website of "w w w. SallySueCakes.com" .

You don't have to be in the same phone book to be listed right next to each other anymore.




someone very smart in some foreign country figured that out and bought every domain name that was a popular name. For instance, you cant get simplycakes.com as this person won't sell it..its just a nonsense web site with links to cake sites. They are holding out to sell it for big bucks. So those of us with that name just found creative ways to get our domain named. Thank god for things like google! haha! btw, sallysuecakes is still available!

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