Can I open a business with the same name as one in another state?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Can I open a business with the same name as one in another state?

I am opening up a medical type practice, and have a name, but it is registered in
another state. Kansas does not allow for DBAs, and I want to file for an LLC, but
don’t know if I can if it is the same in another state.

Asked on March 6, 2018 under Business Law, Missouri


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

You can register--that is open--a business with a certain name in state 2 even if there is another business with the same name in state 1: business registration is by state, so as long as that name is not currently registered in your state (either for a business formed in your state or a "foreign" [out-of-state] business registered to do business in your state), you can form a business using that name.
However, bear in mind that separate from the issue of forming/registering a business, if they have trademarked the name, you could not also trademark it--*and* they may be able to force you to cease and desist using it. Trademark law is independent of state-level business registration law. A good idea is to do a trademark search on the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office (PTO) website, to see if the name is a registered trademark.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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