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Can you choose the same name as another business?

On Behalf of | Mar 8, 2022 | Business formation

You come up with what you think is a compelling business name that tells clients what your company does and what value you provide. You’ve worked with artists on branding, and you’re all set to launch your company.

Before legally filing to name the company, you search Google for other companies with a similar name. You’re shocked to find that someone else has the exact same name that you’ve come up with. Can you still choose it, or do you have to think of something else?

Will your name create confusion?

Ultimately, you may have to simply consider whether or not any confusion will be caused by choosing your business name. There are many cases in which it will not, and then companies are allowed to have similar names under the law.

One example is simply if the other business is in another state or another country. When there’s a large geographical separation, you can often use the same name because none of your potential customers are actually going to be confused about which company they’re dealing with. Exceptions are obviously made for large national and international corporations that would be known across state lines.

Another factor to consider is if you even work in the same space. If your company is going to be working in hospitality and the other company works in advanced manufacturing, there’s no overlap. Customers are not going to be confused and accidentally buy from you instead of the company they were searching for.

If this does get complicated, always remember that it’s important not to make critical mistakes when forming your business. Learning more about the law can help set you up for success.