I have a problem

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by Snapper Jack, Mar 18, 2012.

  1. Snapper Jack

    Snapper Jack LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 525

    About a year ago I came up with Smokey Mountain Lawn care for my company name and before doing so I searched for a year to see if any other company existed using the same name and nothing turned up,I mean I checked the yellow pages, checked yellow book business registry for all counties in Western, NC and nothing turned up until today when I for no apparent reason just glanced on Craig List to find a company in Arden,NC using the exact name :mad:

    I'm at a lost here, I was so excited about getting my new company name circulated in my region. First step of action I'm taking is going to the county courthouse to see if this guy has even registered in the company registry for the county,if not what would you guys suggest the next step be,as I surely could use some sound advice here.

    I had every attention of getting my company name on the county registry by the end of this week,should of never postponed it this long.
  2. White Gardens

    White Gardens LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,776

    Getting registered with the county should have been your first move.

    If the other guy hasn't registered it, then you have the right to it if you can snag it.

    Until then, you have no legal leg to stand on.

  3. djagusch

    djagusch LawnSite Platinum Member
    from MN
    Messages: 4,350

    Also the Secertary of State (SOS) is where you should check and registar also.
  4. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,872

    That really sucks. I would never want to have to work in an area where someone else is using the same name, or one that is very similar. You should always protect your company name. It's the main thing that sets you apart from the rest. Do you want your reputation linked to that guy's work?

    Either figure out a way to secure the name for you whole region or change the name.

    In my town, a good friend of mine owns a company called "Preferred Landscape Services." Well, unfortunately for him, there are 2 other companies with almost the same exact name in the Portland area. Which sucks. Because how do you make yourself unique and stand out when there are another few companies in the area using the same name?

    Do whatever you gotta do. But don't go on using the same name as that other guy. Either he needs to change his name or you do. Register the name if you can (and every similar name) and then if you have to - get your attorney to send him a letter stating that the name is already taken and they will be subject to a lawsuit if they don't change it. Either that, or you change it. But don't keep operating with the same name someone else has.
  5. larryinalabama

    larryinalabama LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 19,347

    If your SOLO promote your personal name, over the name of your business. If your large you will have have to figure out something..
  6. K&L Landscaping

    K&L Landscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 657

    Not trying to be a azz but you should've done things the professional way to begin with. Too many guys just hook up a mowing trailer and think they are all set. This area is so saturated with "landscapers" that don't have a clue it's ridiculous.

    Just be ready to pay taxes on everything you have that's business related when you do register with the county.
  7. clydebusa

    clydebusa Inactive
    Messages: 1,660

    This is true, so this day forward don't hesitate and get things done! You can always use your name and do a slogun like "we serve the smokey mountains". Good luck.
  8. wbw

    wbw LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,077

    The simple fact of the matter is that you need an unintellectual property lawyer.

    You can try it without one.

    Have you been openly using this name?

    If yes, for how long?
  9. Snapper Jack

    Snapper Jack LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 525

    I want to thank every who's responded and as an up date, this gentleman has been in business since 1995 operating off the county registry book and given his years operating with this name off the books, I emailed him with an generous attitude with every effort of keeping this matter civil and I have given him as of this Thursday as a dead line to get his ducks in order or come Friday morning I'll be legally registering the name Smokey Mountain Lawn Care with county registry office and that he'll be subject to a lawsuit he if he continues to use my registered name but I will say this ,Jim Lewis brings up a lot of concerning details for a owner to ponder on.
  10. Fvstringpicker

    Fvstringpicker LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,660

    I'm not up to speed on the North Carolina Code but bear in mind that registering your business name is not the same as obtaining a trademark that provides you with rights about how your business name may be used. If I was representing the defendant in your lawsuit, I would argue, among other things, that you registered your business name (Smokey Mountain Lawn Care) , knowing that your competitor had used the name since 1995. He may be violating NC Statute 66-68 by not registering an assumed name, but that may not give you a standing to sue if he continues to use the name. I recommend that you at least talk to an attorney licensed to practice in your state.

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