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beareyouseae
01-03-2012, 10:46 PM
Ok, I just started a lawn care company in late 2011(November). I was already doing a little business that year, but not licensed, under a different name. When I got licensed(November) I had to change the name of the company, because there was already one with that name(although I never heard of it before). I changed it to Cutting Edge Property Maintenance. So, here is where the problem lies. A few days ago I saw an ad on-line for another landscape company with the similar name, Cutting Edge Lawn Care. I checked them out on-line on the department of revenue and saw that they registered last year on December just a few weeks after I registered my company. So not exactly the same name, but very close. Does anyone know how to solve this problem, as it will most likely cause confusion with customers on both ends. Any help will be appreciated, thanks.

bruces
01-03-2012, 11:00 PM
the names are not exactly the same ,so I dont think you can do anything about it ,but wherever you registered your business name would have better knowledge of your situation .

thegroundscrew
01-03-2012, 11:08 PM
There are tons of similar names out there and it doesn't matter. My company name is The Grounds Crew but there is also The Grounds Guys and The Grounds Crew LLC in my area. But my customers are easily able to distinguish the difference mainly because of website and other social media sites. Not a big deal so don't worry about it just provide exceedingly better service.

beareyouseae
01-03-2012, 11:46 PM
Yeah I was kind of thinking that there might not be anything that could be done, but it is kind of weird that we both opened up around the same time and with similar names. Groundscrew, you bring up a great point. Quality is more important than the name which, will show the overall difference between the both of us in the long run. Hope this won't be too much of an inconvenience for the company this year.

SECTLANDSCAPING
01-04-2012, 01:45 AM
Had the same problem my business Southeastern CT Landscaping the other South Eastern CT Tree service. We're registered in different towns but service the same areas. I had customers ask me about it before and I had to explain its a different company. Another confusing part is I have 2 green trucks and two red trucks. This company runs only green trucks.

I think youll be ok. They do sound like there affiliated with you like my situation. You just have to distinguish yourself. I would say groundscrew has it the worst. Since the LLC name looks exactly the same.

Steve
01-04-2012, 01:58 PM
I think if you register the name first you could probably get an attorney to force them to change their name, even if it is not exact.

You might even be able to find a cease and desist for a business name letter example on the internet you could use and send out.

Keep us posted on what you decide to do.

Ducke
01-04-2012, 06:44 PM
This is why they tell you to think up a unique company name.
AAA lawn Care, Bobs Lawn Care, Cut above Lawn Care, Green Side Up Lawn Care etc all very generic.We have a Cut Above Lawn Care here in my town.
You have to think of something that will stand out. the name I really like is Justin's company name he did a play on words with his name "Justin Time Yard Services" very unique, I chose Ducke's as that is my nick name ( I take to things like a duck in water) and I researched to make sure there was no other just in case.

Just saying.
Graham
aka: Ducke

Hedgemaster
01-04-2012, 07:50 PM
Each state may be different, but in PA the ONLY way you can have a unique name is to pay to register it (I forget what the proper term for it is) and if I recall correctly, you can only do so if you are a company/LLC.

Sole proprietors can register the EXACT same name as the guy next door, but they can NOT use the same name as someone who has paid for a "unique" name.

SECTLANDSCAPING
01-04-2012, 09:00 PM
Each state may be different, but in PA the ONLY way you can have a unique name is to pay to register it (I forget what the proper term for it is) and if I recall correctly, you can only do so if you are a company/LLC.

Sole proprietors can register the EXACT same name as the guy next door, but they can NOT use the same name as someone who has paid for a "unique" name.

This is the same in CT. Found this out talking to another landscaper then I researched in myself.

I did take the time to make sure noone had my company name. The people that do have something similar have no website, phone listing, etc. If I didnt see the truck I wouldve never known.

Hedgemaster
01-04-2012, 11:35 PM
This is the same in CT. Found this out talking to another landscaper then I researched in myself.

I did take the time to make sure noone had my company name. The people that do have something similar have no website, phone listing, etc. If I didnt see the truck I wouldve never known.


Yeah, as I was working on a name (wasn't interested in the "family name" thing), I found that nearly everything I could come up with was either not available (because it was a company with a "unique" name registered, or they were too close to me for my comfort. Just because I CAN use the same name as another guy doesn't mean it's a good idea.

I came up with Oak Leaf Lawn Service. There's an "Oak Leaf Landscaping" or something on the far end of the state, so I figured that shouldn't be an issue, PLUS if I should decide to become a company instead of a sole proprietorship, I can pay to have my name as a unique name since it's slightly different than the "other" Oak Leaf.

That said, I was in my local dealer once and saw a guy with an "Oak Leaf" t-shirt! I can't recall if it was "Lawn Service" or "Landscaping, or whatever, but it was a LOCAL number on the shirt. I was pi$$ed - I had spent a TON of time researching the state website to be sure I didn't duplicate a local business name. I assume he's running it illegally, because it would have been listed otherwise.

CHEESE2009
01-05-2012, 12:02 AM
My companies legal name actually has no reference to lawn care.

I use, "Lawn Service" at the end of it instead of "Enterprises" for advertising purposes.

I'm going to start using my real name, because there is a company out there who has the name I go by when advertising and it's been pretty annoying both having the same Facebook business page... LOL


In other news... I'm probably going to die after eating a bag of expired cherries. lol

SECTLANDSCAPING
01-05-2012, 12:18 AM
In other news... I'm probably going to die after eating a bag of expired cherries. lol

That's all hype you'll be fine. Just don't eat discolored meat.

beareyouseae
01-05-2012, 12:32 AM
Yeah, as I was working on a name (wasn't interested in the "family name" thing), I found that nearly everything I could come up with was either not available (because it was a company with a "unique" name registered, or they were too close to me for my comfort. Just because I CAN use the same name as another guy doesn't mean it's a good idea.

I came up with Oak Leaf Lawn Service. There's an "Oak Leaf Landscaping" or something on the far end of the state, so I figured that shouldn't be an issue, PLUS if I should decide to become a company instead of a sole proprietorship, I can pay to have my name as a unique name since it's slightly different than the "other" Oak Leaf.

That said, I was in my local dealer once and saw a guy with an "Oak Leaf" t-shirt! I can't recall if it was "Lawn Service" or "Landscaping, or whatever, but it was a LOCAL number on the shirt. I was pi$$ed - I had spent a TON of time researching the state website to be sure I didn't duplicate a local business name. I assume he's running it illegally, because it would have been listed otherwise.

When I was thinking of a name, I was also on the WA department of revenue to make sure I didn't pick a name that was too close to an already existing company. I found that there were a few similar ones, but they are on the other side of the state. So, there really should be a problem. Although there was a business with Cutting Edge as part of the name locally, it was a different type of business(mfg, I believe), so can't really get those two confused. And when I called the D.O.R. to make sure all the paper work was good, I asked them about this, and they said it was fine. Anyways, the shirt thing you experienced, is what I want to avoid. So for now I'm trying to beat this other guy on advertising/marketing to establish my name first.

dpld
01-05-2012, 02:36 PM
i hear about this all the time and thats why i just used my own personl name because if someones got the same name as me and they do the same exact thing as me then we got problems and are going to have to duke it out.

Steve
01-05-2012, 03:19 PM
So for now I'm trying to beat this other guy on advertising/marketing to establish my name first.

Is that going to help you or is it going to be helping him too and keeping the public confused?

It is a lot easier early on to deal with these things than later after you have invested much time and money into building your brand.

This can become a HUGE nightmare.

In 2000, the World Wide Fund for Nature (also trademarked WWF), an environmental organization, sued World Wrestling Federation Entertainment Inc. for it's usage of WWF and won. The World Wrestling Federation had to change it's name.

http://www.scripophily.com/webcart/vigs/wwevig.jpg

http://b.vimeocdn.com/ps/920/920807_300.jpg

Ducke
01-05-2012, 05:51 PM
i hear about this all the time and thats why i just used my own personl name because if someones got the same name as me and they do the same exact thing as me then we got problems and are going to have to duke it out.

This is OK as long as your name isn't
Jim Smith
or
Bubba Jones
or
Bob Brown

common names can hurt you as well.

Ducke
01-05-2012, 05:58 PM
Steve the WWF versus WWF was a good example.
Her in back wood Nova Scotia Canada Disney Sued a business (Day Care) to stop using a likeness that they have a copy right on and won.
I saw a landscaper here last summer that's name was "Get er Done" landscaping
I think he is leaving himself open to law suits if that phrase is copy righted which it most likely is.
A company name logo and catch phrase should not be taken lightly and you should do some research into it before you build your brand.