I think I just Trainwrecked my business

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by RLS24, Nov 29, 2008.

  1. RLS24

    RLS24 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,603

    I went to apply for my DBA this week and register my business name. Well, apparently, some guy already "owns" the name I have been going under for the past year. Hasn't been in business for over 15 years but keeps ownership of the name. I have a few problems here....

    1) What do I call myself now? I want something professional....no "Mike's Landscaping" (actually there is a guy around here that goes by "Mikey's Mowing" and appears to be quite successful)

    2) When I do come up with a new name, what do I tell my current customers?

    I've already somewhat built up a name for myself with this name, and I thought I was OK because I searched high and low through the yellowpages to make sure no one else had it (which was a really bad idea to just rely on that - lesson learned, and learned well), and now I feel like this is really throwing a wrench into the works.
  2. P.Services

    P.Services LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,319

    can you get it as a llc? if not i would call the guy and see if you cant work somthing out.

    HOOLIE LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,981

    I'm sure it differs from state to state, but when I registered in VA years ago, they told me unless a business is a corporation registered with the state (or something like that) the name is not protected. As I scrolled thru the database I saw quite a few duplicated names. If you haven't done so I would check with the county and see what the rules are. Since they other guy hasn't been in business for 15 years it's probably just an old listing.

    Change it to "Nu Era" or "Pneu Era" :laugh:

    DLAWNS LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,780

    Look into it and make sure that the company won't give or sell you the name. If not it sucks but it's not the end of the world. Just come up with something new and explain to your customers that there was a mix up during the start up of your company. Let us know what happens.
  5. Tadams

    Tadams LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 787

    Try changing the name slightly- something like "New Era Lawncare & Landscaping" or "New Era Property Management". There are lots of ways that you can change it around without changing the name. The banks will still accept any of your checks and you wouldn'y have to tell your customers anything. I wouldn't even change the business cards or advertising and signs on your truck.
  6. Right Touch

    Right Touch LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 382

    a guy in my area had the same problem. They changed the name as far as "legal" matters were concerned, but all the trucks, trailers, letterhead, business cards, everything else still had the name that was used by another company. And they never had a problem with the state.
  7. Firefighter337

    Firefighter337 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 373

    New Edge Landscaping

    TRILAWNCARE LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 946

    I'm sure it differs from state to state, but in Iowa a simple DBA is your personal name. John Smith DBA New Era Landscaping. If there is a problem with them accepting this then just add the "enterprises" to the end. New Era Landscaping Enterprises. You don't need to include this on your truck if you don't want.

    Personally I would look into setting up a LLC. This will eliminate or better protect your personal assets from a possible liability issue should one ever come up. Say a rock flies out of your mower and kills someone. The only assets a lawsuit would be able to take control of are the business. Not your house, car and personal wealth.

    These are issues you would be better off discussing with a lawyer. A couple of hundred dollars spent now, could save you from loosing everything you have, in the future.

    Also ask about S-corp's they have benefits as far as how your income taxes will be filed. Can save you a lot of money there as well.

    Good luck
  9. vaughnslawns

    vaughnslawns LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 324

    put an "A" at the front. such as --a new era--
  10. Firefighter337

    Firefighter337 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 373

    To add to this. http://www.legalzoom.com/limited-liability-company/limited-liability-company-packages.html

    referred to my by a friend that runs a very successful internet business.

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