What is the law regarding starting a business based on an existing business?

I was planning on starting a business shipping products from a popular local retail store across the country. It will be an e-commerce site basically only selling their private label products at a 40% markup. The site will have a lot of information about the retail store including recipes, product updates, etc. but not be affiliated with them in any way. The name of the retail store will also be part of the URL. Is this legal or is there a trademark issue happening?

Asked on July 14, 2012 under Business Law, California


Cameron Norris, Esq. / Law Office of Gary W. Norris

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

If you are using theire trade name without their permission, then trademark and copyright law violations may both be implicated.  You can resell their products without mentioning their name in marketing in any way, but when you use their business name and also use it as a part of your URL, you are exposing yourself to liability including statutory penalites. 

Best of luck.

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