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Help! A sex offender is using a similar company name!

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by MooShuPork, Jul 16, 2008.

  1. MooShuPork

    MooShuPork LawnSite Member
    Posts: 2

    We are a fairly new company (about 1 year old) who does lawn and landscape work. There is another local company with a similar name who only does trees. We knew about the similar name thing when we registered our company but as we are lawn, landscape, and irrigation, we did not think there would be a conflict. Perhaps in hindsight we should have picked a different name, but it is too late to argue that. It was recently brought to our attention that the owner of the other company is a registered sex offender. At this point we said WTF, but again, the companies are different in what they do and we didn't think anyone would get us confused.......

    Until today when one of our best customers calls us and tells us that the owner of the other company stopped by their house to ask if they were satisfied with us BECAUSE he is about to start doing lawn and landscape work and wanted them as a customer. While i'm angry about the attempted customer poaching, I'm more worried about people confusing our companies...which can occur on multiple levels, but the most troublesome level to me is that anyone can search the texas sex offender database and there is a definite possibility they will confuse our company with one owned by a sex offender. We are in a very family oriented suburb where soccer moms take things like that VERY seriously.

    What the heck should I do?
  2. Toy2

    Toy2 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,924

    Get a lawyer pretty quick, have him write something up and send it to this loser.
  3. Grass Happens

    Grass Happens LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 682

    Yea, Since he had the name first, you are in a bit of a sticky situation. Perhaps, although difficult now, you could change the name? It would still be easier to change it now, then to try next year.
  4. bigviclbi

    bigviclbi LawnSite Senior Member
    from nj
    Posts: 894

  5. kleankutslawn

    kleankutslawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,185

    another name change vote!
  6. KrayzKajun

    KrayzKajun LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,742

    change ya name! and still contact a lawyer
  7. lawnman_scott

    lawnman_scott LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 7,547

    Why is he getting a lawyer for this? Because he picked a name similar to one a sex offender had??????????
  8. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,496

    Exactly...there is nothing that money spent on a lawyer can do in this situation. Change the name, and start again. You do NOT want ANY sort of confusion with you and some criminal!
  9. MooShuPork

    MooShuPork LawnSite Member
    Posts: 2

    Had a long discussion with the co-owner and my wife/marketing guru. We are all on board to change the name, and the general consensus is to do it over the winter when we will have time to send out a letter/call/talk to our current customers about the name change. My wife has wanted to revamp the website anyways (she reads Lawn and Landscape way too much) and she thinks we would do best with a complete website relaunch and extensive marketing campaign with our new name in February/March. This would also give us time to get all our tax stuff straight with the state and close out the old company name taxwise on Dec 31st.

    The overall opinion is that this guy is trying to capitalize on the fact that we have a good reputation (yes, even after 1 year) and we are also about to start a few fairly large commercial contracts. While I'm still very annoyed, it will probably work out best in the end with a name change.
  10. Grass Happens

    Grass Happens LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 682

    becare in your announcement about saying that the other guy was a sex offender. While true and not slander, he may still try to sue wasting valuable time and money.

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