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Company Name Search

Is it legal to Use a Business Name that Exists in Another State?

Learn whether you can use the same business name as an existing business in another state.

No, it is not legal. You can only use a business name that has not been registered in India, in any state. Therefore, before choosing a business name, you can search for its availability through MCA. 

A selection of your company’s name is one of the most crucial decisions you will make when starting a new business. In registering your business name with the state, you will be able to learn about any licenses or procedures that may be required to operate your firm. In most circumstances, you must form a corporation or a limited liability business, and this is the case in most states.

As a result, it is easier to distinguish between business and personal activities, and your assets will be protected in case of legal action brought against your firm. However, choosing a company name already registered in another state may need the completion of additional procedures.

You can choose from a variety of Company Name ideas in the Vakilsearch company name generator for your brand-new, unregistered business.

Can I Use the Same Existing Name of My Business?

A firm in another state with the same name as yours is not a cause of concern as business names are registered on a federal level instead of a state-by-state basis. 

However, you are correct in stating that when two firms have the same name, there may be concerns with intellectual property (namely, trademarks). Suppose you have any ideas or plans for branding your firm on a national (rather than simply a local) level. In that case, you’ll want to be aware of any other businesses utilising the same or similar names.

The nature of their business and the trademarking actions might make this other firm a hurdle for you to get trademark protection for yourself and your company.

Difference between a Legal name and a DBA name:-

What is a legal company name, and how does it vary from a DBA? While forming a legal company entity, the formal name used when filing with the state is the “legal name” (such as an LLC or corporation). 

If you decide to conduct your company under a name different from your given name (i.e., something fictional), that name is a DBA name. For example, suppose John Doe starts a landscaping business rather than operating under his name. A DBA name is often referred to as an assumed name, fake business name, or fictitious trade name.

In contrast to legal names, DBA names are often not exclusive in most jurisdictions. You will prevent Suzy’s Nail Bar, Inc. (your legal business name) from forming or qualifying under that name if you do so. They would be forbidden while using a substantially similar name to another in some jurisdictions. There is no such protection for a DBA name in many jurisdictions, which is unfortunate. 

How trademarks may affect your Ability?

Trademark names are registered with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and are thus protected nationally in the United States. A trademarked business name cannot be used by anybody else, even if the firm in question is located in a different state than your own. Make a Quick Company Name Registration Online by Following all the Protocols.

Trademark concerns may be difficult to navigate. A court’s consideration of whether two firms might cause customers to be confused is critical in trademark infringement proceedings. Suppose your company name is likely to create customer confusion because it is the same or similar to another business name. You are not permitted to use that business name. 

What if you wish to register your name as a trademark?

There are two methods by which you may obtain trademark rights. One way to do this is to be the first person to utilise the mark in commerce. The alternative option is to file a Trademark registration application with the federal or state government.

Federal registration entails applying to the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO): https://www.uspto.gov/. Using a trademark offers you additional advantages that are not available under common law, such as generating a worldwide presumption that the trademark is legitimate and granting you the right to use the trademark in any jurisdiction where it is registered. It also gives you the ability to file a trademark infringement lawsuit in federal court, and in some cases, it permits you to seek triple damages and expenses.

Once a trademark registration is obtained, several filings are necessary to keep the registration active, including renewals and statements that the mark is still in use, among other things. It is also possible for trademark protection to be forfeited if a mark is abandoned, unlawfully leased, incorrectly assigned, or has become generic.

If you decide to take action to preserve your company’s trademark rights, you should seek the advice of a trustworthy expert who is experienced in trademark law. 

What is the best way to determine whether a company name has already been taken?

There are various methods for determining if a company name is available. In order to begin, you must conduct a trademark search. The electronic search mechanism on the United States Patent and Trademark Office’s website offers a fast and straightforward method. Don’t skip this step since failing to search for existing trademarks might result in a trademark infringement lawsuit.

Visit the website of the Office of the Secretary of State or the Corporations Division in the state where you want to incorporate your company and do a legal entity name search. Additionally, you may utilise State Name Check tools to determine whether or not a name is available.

Keep in mind that a name check only informs you whether or not the requested name is accessible at the request time. It does not ‘hold’ the name for you or ensure that you will be able to get it. Therefore, if you anticipate that you will be unable to file your incorporation or formation paperwork for some time, you might consider using a name reserve service.

Conclusion

Even though a competitor firm in another state may have a federally registered trademark similar to your business name, that business cannot begin operations in your state and prevent you from using your chosen name.

You have the right to continue to use your name under your common law trademark rights in your geographical market region. Still, you may be barred from extending the use of your trademark to other markets in your state if you do not get permission to do so.  

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