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Can I start a new business based on an old one, and use the same name?

Schaefferstown, PA |

I want to start a business back up. The store has been out of business for 8 years or so. I did not own the copyright/trademark to the name of the business though. The name has not been used since either. Can I legally use the same name?

I'm not sure that there was ever a trademark or copyright put on the name of the business

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Attorney answers 3


You should start with an online search to see if anyone else has taken your name --
(the website is a pain, but workable -- I used IE, but you might try Firefox)

Generally, you can legally use any name not taken by someone else. There are nuances such as the market concerned, sutomer confusion, and those sorts of things. If you have other issues for which you will be consulting a local attorney, you can ask about it. But as long as no one else has reserved the business name in your area, you should be able to use it.

This answer or response should not be considered legal advice, and does not create an attorney-client relationship. If you have further questions, I would be glad to discuss your situation further. I can be reached at US - (801) 746-6300, or online at --

Peyton Hunley Robinson

Peyton Hunley Robinson


typo -- customer confusion


If the name is available you can likely use it.

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If you did not own the rights to the name you may need to obtain consent to use the name from the owner. However, checking the PA Corporation Bureau website will let you know if the name is being used ( You should also check with the US Patent & Trademark Office ( to see if the name is protected by trademark protection.

Good luck.

This response does not create an attorney-client relationship and is not intended to provide legal advice for your specific situation.