I searched the register of deeds website and the Secretary of State website in my state as instructed and did not find any companies of the same. I filed the paperwork with the appropriate government agencies. My business is a sole proprietorship. I recently googled the name of my company and discovered that a company of the same name exists in London, England. My company is a newly-formed company and I do not have any clients yet so should I choose another name or is it ok to keep my business name since this other company is in another country? If I have to change my company name, I would have to file new paperwork with my state and county government and pay additional fees. Your help is much appreciated!
Many companies have the same name when they aren't doing business in the same location or when they aren't in the same business. Most of the time there is not a problem. However, if there would be confusion between the two businesses, there might be ab issue. For example, if the London company has a trademark and is also in the medical billing business (or something similar), you might have an problem if they also work in your area or they are very well known. You will want to check and see if the London company is using the domain name you need for your website. This may actually end up being a bigger issue from a practical standpoint.
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I am changing the Practice Area so that your question might be answered by Intellectual Property Attorneys.
The foregoing discussion does not establish an attorney-client relationship, is qualified by the limited facts presented above, and should not be relied upon as legal advice. To obtain definitive legal advice upon which one can rely necessitates retaining an attorney who is qualified in this particular area of the law.
Since you are just starting out, you may want to pick a truly unique name.
A lot of business is conducted on the internet today, so even a company in London could create confusion for a company in North Carolina, assuming they are in a related business.
You may want to have an intellectual property attorney do a thorough trademark search for whatever name you might want to use, assuming you want to use the name as a trademark for selling good/services.
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If you are just working locally, then it shouldn't be an issue. However, if you have any concerns or you intend to do interstate commerce or use the name as a trademark, you may want to change it.
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