May I continue using a business name if one of my partners has disassociated herself from the business?

Get Legal Help Today

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

May I continue using a business name if one of my partners has disassociated herself from the business?

I was starting a business with 2 partners. We chose a business name then one partner decided she no longer wanted to be involved. She says we are not able to continue using the business name. The name was her husband’s idea. I spent a lot of money and over 38 hours designing a logo, setting up a website, business cards, phone, email etc. The name was never copyrighted and we have finished the incorporation paperwork. Would my partner and I still be able to move forward using this name? We had no contract between us. The majority of money spent has been out of my pocket.

Asked on November 18, 2011 under Business Law, Maine

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

If you have finished the incorporation paperwork, it the busienss now incorporated? If the busienss is now incorporated, the shareholders of this corporate business now own the the name of the corporation and the logo unless there is a written agreement to the contrary.

If you have written and approved bylaws concerning the corporation that you have written about, you need to carefully read the bylaws as to how to remove the one "partner" as a shareholder in the venture and pay her the value her shares of stock are presently worth in the business.

If you have not incorporated your business, I would do so as soon as possible. In California, there is the presumption that the name of a corporation is owned by the shareholders of the particular corporation. Perhaps your state may have a similar statute.

You should also consult with a business attorney about your situation.


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 AttorneyPages.com 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.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption