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lqmustang
03-30-2007, 05:49 PM
I was at my local Lesco last week, buying my first round products. After looking up my business name I was asked my address, which I thought odd. I joking asked 'Why? is there another on of me?' To which he replied yes, actually there is. That is not the answer I expected!! He kindly gave me the address and phone number of the 'other' business. I am planning on giving this guy a call to see what's up. I have the legal rights to my business name. I even went on the Ohio business website to double check, and all was ok.

I'm trying to figure out what to do. Be a nice guy, ask him to change his name, and leave it at that. Or, be a jerk as this guy obviously didn't do his homework before using my name, and demanding some sort of compensation for the use of my name. Guess it all boils down to my mood when I make the call, and his attitude when I talk to him.

What would you do?

GMP
03-30-2007, 06:03 PM
is he a legit company?

dave k
03-30-2007, 06:09 PM
Life's to short, be a nice guy, is his business in lawn care and or landscaping? usually when you go to a new area and you get a business license they check to see if there are others using that name. If he gives you a hard time or who knows maybe he has had his name longer than you, than I would see if there is free legal advice that you can use. Normally only a Registered name like US Lawns that is trade marked you can use legal means, but for just a name maybe not. I used to have a name Pro Cut Lawns and Landscaping in Fl, But up in Ga. I use Premier Services because I also install Office furniture, mobile filing systems etc, so it fits both businesses. Hope this helps.
Good luck and keep us posted.

awillardandrews
03-30-2007, 06:21 PM
You probably don't have exclusive rights to the the name. You would have to have the name 'Trade Marked' with the Feds to own it exclusivley. At a State level, there can only be 1 "XYZ Corporation" , But any one can D/B/A as "XYZ", as long as "XYZ" isn't a trade marked name.

Team-Green L&L
03-30-2007, 06:30 PM
From my understanding he can use the name, but if he tries to incorporate it will be rejected by the Secretary of State's office. We just incorporated and there were a few Team Green's out there so we used the L&L to get around it, but we are doing business as "Team Green" or "Team Green Landscaping".

lqmustang
03-30-2007, 06:43 PM
As far as I can tell he is not legit in the sense that there is no other 'Jason's Lawn Service' registered in Ohio. Not sure about him having a service vendors license at this point. I did some less specific searches and came up empty as well. I really wouldn't mind someone else having the same name, except that by his address he is likely operating in the exact same areas that I am. If he was a few counties over then it would be a non-issue.

grass disaster
03-30-2007, 06:45 PM
he can't use the name

he obviously doesn't have it registered.

i had this happen to me. i went with the i'm a jerk route.



i had a lawyer send him a sease and desist(sp) letter

last i ever heard from him.

bruces
03-30-2007, 06:56 PM
I was at my local Lesco last week, buying my first round products. After looking up my business name I was asked my address, which I thought odd. I joking asked 'Why? is there another on of me?' To which he replied yes, actually there is. That is not the answer I expected!! He kindly gave me the address and phone number of the 'other' business. I am planning on giving this guy a call to see what's up. I have the legal rights to my business name. I even went on the Ohio business website to double check, and all was ok.

I'm trying to figure out what to do. Be a nice guy, ask him to change his name, and leave it at that. Or, be a jerk as this guy obviously didn't do his homework before using my name, and demanding some sort of compensation for the use of my name. Guess it all boils down to my mood when I make the call, and his attitude when I talk to him.

What would you do?

Don't know about Ohio, but in Missouri you can register a "Fictitious Name" with the Secretary of State. If you have registered your business name under a similar mechanism with the state, you probably have some recourse to keep him from using it. If he isn't in the business though, do you really care?

If he is, you might want to take steps to resolve it.

lqmustang
03-30-2007, 07:04 PM
I'm pretty sure he is conducting business. I stopped in to Lesco for something today and they said he had been in to buy product since I was there last week.

topsites
03-30-2007, 07:10 PM
You'll want to go down to the courthouse and look up registered businesses, they should have a list.
At least in my case, it's the same list I had to look through to make sure mine had not been registered before.
As a rule, even a very simple change in spelling is usually legit, so for example if you find:
Jason's Lawn Services (yours)
Jasons Lawn Services (his)

If this is the case then there is probably little you can do, if his name is Jason and he just happens to live in the same county and has properly registered his name, sorry bro but you both have to live with this and know he may be as upset as you are (or not at all, perhaps it amuses him or he feels indifferent, who knows).
But if there exist no other names besides yours, you may have some legal recourse, thou I wouldn't know what to tell you as far as what this involves. In either case you might want to ask the clerk, but in the first case, if they allowed it...
Further, if his is an LLC and yours isn't (or vice versa), that simple fact may make it allowable also, but idk...


Good luck.

GMP
03-30-2007, 07:11 PM
Hey mustang just sent you a pm

lqmustang
04-05-2007, 02:47 PM
Just a little update.

Just got off the phone with this guy's Mom. Guess the number I have is a home number. She says that he's been in business for 10 years, and has shirts, cards, etc. all printed up and all. It's gonna suck for him to have to reprint all that. Funny I have never seen him around as I am in the same area he is. Obviously he must not advertise as I've never seen another one of me before. Anyway, I got his cell number and left a message, we'll see if he calls.

Also, I called the Ohio Sec. of State. Seems that as I have the name registered, I have the rights to the name even tho this guy has been in business longer than me. He obviously missed one very important detail in setting himself up. We'll see what happens when and if he calls. I'm am hoping for an amicable resolution. It's all up to him as to how it works out.

prizeprop
04-05-2007, 04:56 PM
Dont know the legal details, but a friend of mine had to change his name after a court battle because another company had the same name in the county.Apparently my friend didnt have his ducks in a row.

Runner
04-05-2007, 05:13 PM
Is his name the EXACT same as yours? If there is as subtle of change as lawn care to lawn service, he is good to go. Incidentally, what county are you in? Nevermind,...it doesn't matter. There is no way to look up by company name, anyway.

NNJLandman
04-05-2007, 06:22 PM
A guy I worked for back in the day had that problem, what a mess. For about a month we were going to the dump and just saying yea this is for JLS, ok....well sure enough another guy was JLS and was putting charges on my bosses JLS account and we were doing likewise. Finally someone caught on when we stopped using the dump for a while due to a bad relationship but the boss was still getting billed for dump ha. Gotta watch out.

Jeff

jsf343
04-05-2007, 06:24 PM
Just a little update.

Just got off the phone with this guy's Mom. Guess the number I have is a home number. She says that he's been in business for 10 years, and has shirts, cards, etc. all printed up and all. It's gonna suck for him to have to reprint all that. Funny I have never seen him around as I am in the same area he is. Obviously he must not advertise as I've never seen another one of me before. Anyway, I got his cell number and left a message, we'll see if he calls.

Also, I called the Ohio Sec. of State. Seems that as I have the name registered, I have the rights to the name even tho this guy has been in business longer than me. He obviously missed one very important detail in setting himself up. We'll see what happens when and if he calls. I'm am hoping for an amicable resolution. It's all up to him as to how it works out.

Sounds like you took the right approach to me. As far as being registered you have EVERY right to that name. That is the way it is in Oregon too. Your name, you followed the rules, you took the time to jump through the hoops, you are 100% right in doing what you are doing. Good luck, hope all turns out well.

mrgreen3
04-05-2007, 06:52 PM
I hope the attorneys spell better

ACA L&L
04-05-2007, 08:02 PM
I have the same problem here! Registered it with the secretary of state just waiting for the paperwork to go through, should be any day now. When i called him he acted like it was no big deal, this guy did crappy work and ran up a huge bill at the dump! I still get asked at the dump if im so and so. Some people just dont seem to be all there? Im hoping for a quick resolution as well, just have to wait and see what happens!:hammerhead:

lqmustang
04-05-2007, 08:16 PM
A final follow up...

I had the opportunity to talk to the other Jason this afternoon. We had an amicable conversation, and have resolved the matter. He is going to make a small change to his name, and all is good. What I find amazing is that it took almost 6 years to realize that there were two of us operating under the same name, in the same general market area. Gotta say tho that from talking to him on the phone he seems to be a nice guy, and I wish him the best for his business.

A final note also as I know he reads here at lawnsite. Don't go too hard on the the guys at Lesco for giving your number to me. He had already asked when I went in if my address was yours because the business names were the same. I would have figured out how to contact you from that address quite easily.

And Runner, yes we were using identical names.

mojob
04-05-2007, 08:23 PM
You're too easy going if you ask me. I'd be on that guy like white on rice. You already know he's not legal, otherwise his name would be registered with the state. I'd find out as much as possible about this guy and then lower the boom. Is there any chance that he's applying without a license? You don't want someone out there dragging your name through the mud. You wouldn't be a jerk in my book for going after this guy. Good luck.

lqmustang
04-05-2007, 08:44 PM
I'm not out to make enemies and who really wants a legal battle when he was ok with changing his name? I'd rather be out making money than dragging it all out anyway. According to Ohio's rules for conflicting names we will be different enough. As far as being legal, he stated that he has a vendor's license, and has from the beginning. If that's the case then he is legal in that respect. I can't vouch for him if he does or does not have an applicators license. I sure hope he does, but if he doesn't it may catch up to him.

Drew Gemma
04-05-2007, 09:11 PM
I have a tool using my name with a different spelling in the first letter and nothing I can do about it and he is a hack. I paid the money for the name also years ago and am trying to trade mark the logo man that is huge moneypayup glad to hear all is good it is money making season there is plenty to go around.