Originally Posted by Steve
Without giving any names, can you tell us a little about what happened and what the outcome was? It sounds like a great learning and life lesson for everyone.
my friend's business name was guardian plant health care and when he started it he registered with morris county and then he went down to monmouth county to do a job for a family member and unknown to him was a business named guardian lawn service.
while down there working the other company's landscape buddies saw his truck and name in the driveway and the company named guardian lawn care only did applications and he gave all his landscaper friends the construction and mowing work.
well when they seen the truck in the driveway they thought their buddy was no longer gonna give them work and assumed he started doing it himself so they all called the dude up and tore him a new one.
next thing you know the dude at guardian lawn care drove to the job and read the riot act to my friend and told him he has been in business for over twenty years and has his whole life and tons of money invested into his name and my friend said he was registered in morris county and normally does not work in his area and was only down there because it was for a family member.
at that point in time my friend tried to be very diplomatic about it and told the guy that even though it may seem similar that their names and the types of business they do are not the same.
the guy in monmouth was a lawn applicator business like a chem-lawn and my friend was a landscape construction and tree and shrub spraying co and assured the guy that unless he see's him at that particular house that he has no plans in working in this guys turf.
so they exchanged cards and left off on friendly terms and then a couple days past by and next thing you know my buddy got a certified letter in the mail from the other dudes attorney telling him to stop doing business under that name or he was gonna take him to court. at that point my friend was pissed that the guy did that being they left off on good terms and was taken back by how aggressive the guy had become about the situation so he was like screw this guy, let him take me to court.
well he did, and he not only had the money to go to battle the judge ruled that being the guy was registered with the state and doing business under that name long before my friend as well as the businesses also catered to the same type of customers the judge ruled in his favor.
so my friend ended up having to re-name the business, re-letter his trucks get new stationary and change all his advertising even get new shirts and hats and every little detail to owning a business.
on top of all those costs and issues he even had issues with some of his clients because they though the sudden change of name was do to financial issues like he was skirting tax problems.
it is not uncommon that some people will run a business into the ground and rack up debt and then claim chapter 11 and start up under a different name with a different tax ID #.
plus it was like he was starting all over again and he had to build the name up all over again.
i could go on all night about this but the morale of the story is, with all the information we have available today including the internet when you can easily see that there are other people operating under the same name and you know damn well that they came before you.
use a different name.
and before you even settle on a name, make sure it is not taken.
there are business names already registered that no longer exist and no matter how original we like to think we are, chances are that someone thought of it before you.
i personally could care less what this young lad does and the only reason why i brought it up was because when i seen the name and logo i said, " i know i seen this name before " so i typed it in google search and i got like 10 pages of greenscapes all over the country.
i just figured i would pass my experience that i witnessed my friend go through and i would try to save him a ton of pain and anguish down the line because the further he gets down the line with this name the more hassle it is gonna be when the doo doo hits the fan.