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Can Two Companies Have the Same Name?

can two companies have the same name

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Are you wondering, can two companies have the same name? This is a valid question to ask since you don’t want to choose a name that you’ll need to change later due to a conflict. After all, it can cost a lot of money to grow a brand name where it’s widely recognized by the target market. 

However, the answer to this question has some nuance since it depends on the business status of the companies. By the end of the article, you’ll have a better idea of whether your desired company name may be in conflict with another, and if an LLC name change is required. 

Can You Have the Same Business Name as Someonelse?

You can have exactly the same business name as another. That’s because when you register a business, you don’t receive protection such as a trademark. However, you cannot have the same business name as an incorporated business. This means you need to check what LLCs have been registered in your state of business. 

Furthermore, you may not be able to have a business name that’s too similar to a competitor. This can create customer confusion and potentially get your business into legal trouble. 

Are you wondering, what if my business name is similar to another? Ideally, your business name should stand out in your niche. This makes it easier to market your business and grow a brand that’s set apart from the competition. 

Otherwise, you might throw a large amount of marketing dollars toward growing your brand, but customers end up buying from the competition with a similar name. You can always change your LLC name by submitting an Article of Amendment. Companies change business names all the time, but it’s better to do it early rather than later. 

How Do You Check Taken Business Names?

Since you want to avoid taking the same name as an LLC in your state, it’s best to visit a business formation agency or the official state website. Running a name check allows you to identify the ones already taken. You can typically run searches within a few seconds, and it’s a good way to avoid starting your business on the wrong foot. 

However, if the name you’re after is taken, you can register your business in another state. You’ll need to weigh up the advantages of the name and if registering a business in the other state is the right move overall. 

Also, you need to be aware that you can’t register a business with a name that sounds too similar to another LLC. That’s because it creates confusion in the marketplace and protects businesses from copycats. It takes longer to figure out what similar-sounding names are in your state. However, you need to get this right, or your Articles of Organization will be rejected. 

Choose the Right State to Register an LLC

Instead of wondering how similar can business name be, why not register your business in another state? You don’t have to register your business in the state that you will operate. In fact, you can register your business in any state and provide services in all 50 states. 

When picking a state to register an LLC, consider choosing professional services such as Business Anywhere. We can help process your LLC registration within 2-3 working days. 

can two companies have the same name

How to Protect Your Business Name

Are you worried that another company will take advantage of your hard work by taking the same or similar names? Here are a few strategies for protecting your name from copycats:

  • Communication with other businesses: Take the friendly approach and ask other businesses copying your name to stop. It might be an honest mistake, or a warning will get them to change their ways. 
  • LLC: You can incorporate a company in the USA and protect your business name in any state. However, if you want to protect the same name in multiple states, then you will need to register your business in more than one state. This will incur extra expenses and increase the complications of running your business. 
  • Trademark: Trademark registration is another option to consider. This is a good option if you want to pursue legal action when other businesses are using your name. However, you should get the trademark registered quickly after setting up your business. Note that when you get a trademark for your brand name, it also extends to domain names. This is an important consideration since domain names are a vital part of a strong online presence. 

How to Settle A Name Dispute with Other Business

You have a number of options open to you when there’s a dispute with another business over the name. You can change your LLC name or ask them to take this step. Naturally, the business that has more years will try to argue the right not to change their name. 

However, if you have incorporated your LLC or have a trademark, then you can send a cease and desist letter. You can ask your lawyer to complete this action on your behalf. Furthermore, if you are the wronged party, then you might be eligible to receive damages, which depend on the severity of the trademark infringement. 

Can Two Companies Have the Same Name Final Thoughts

To conclude, you can have the same name as another company if it’s not taken in your state as an LLC or have it trademarked. Therefore, it’s a good idea to do a name search before you register a business. This allows you to figure out what names are taken and if there are similar names to what you are considering. 

However, if you don’t protect your business name, then you have no grounds for a legal dispute. Therefore, you should register an LLC with the help of Business Anywhere. We specialize in professional business registration services with a processing time of just 2-3 days. We’re fairly priced and help you at every step of the process. 

About Author

Picture of Rick Mak

Rick Mak

Rick Mak is a 30-year veteran businessman, having started, bought, and/or sold more than a dozen companies. He has bachelor's degrees in International Business, Finance, and Economics, with masters in both Entrepreneurship and International Law. He has spoken at hundreds of conferences around the world during his career on entrepreneurship, international tax law, asset protection, and company structure. Business Anywhere Editorial Guidelines

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