Can I be liable for having the same business name as someone else?

UPDATED: Feb 20, 2011

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Can I be liable for having the same business name as someone else?

I just started a small business and I found out I have the same name as another business. I have a DBA registered with the county.

Asked on February 20, 2011 under Business Law, Texas


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

Here is my concern:  the other business may qualify for trade name protection and sue you based upon that right.  Trade name law (which is part of trademark law) is very fact specific. So knowing the names of the businesses, what kind of businesses they are, how long the other business has been  in business under that name, etc.  If they do sue and are successful then they can recover     money damages to compensate for lost business or damage to reputation as well as a court order forbidding you from continuing to do business under the infringing name.

The key can be confusion to the consumer and misleading the public. I would seek help from an attorney in your area.  Good luck.

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