What to do if another business is using my business’s name?

I recently moved my business to a new location.The new tenant at my previous business location is advertising his business pretending to be me. Their signs say they are a clothing store, however I keep getting walk-ins asking for tattoo artists that do not work for me. These people are tattooing people horribly, scarring them, telling people “come to X” when that isn’t us. This is not only hurting us financially now but is giving my business a terrible rep. I even had someone ask me “do you really use the same needle on different clients? That’s what the other place said”. This is getting out of control.

Asked on November 15, 2012 under Business Law, Connecticut


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Speak with an attorney who handles either business litigation or intellectual property--you may have one or more legal claims against this other business, such as:

1) Unfair competititon: business 1 is not allowed to pass itself off as business 2.

2) Trademark violation: if your name is trademarked, they clearly could not use it.

3) Defamation: a person or business is not allowed to make untrue statements of facts about another that damages the other's reputation.

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