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One Name (mine) 2 businesses -OH NO!

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by MOW ED, Aug 31, 2002.

  1. MOW ED

    MOW ED LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,028

    I have been in business for over 7 years and I have done well with minimal advertising. Most business comes from word of mouth or from flyers placed in the spring or the fall when the big push is on. I don't have my name in the phone book either.

    As I was looking thru a local paper I saw a small ad that was for a lawn care company. It was the same name of my company with a different phone number.

    I cannot be upset with the guy for reasons above but I decided to call him just to talk. The phone was answered with a person who said - of all things- hello. Then silence. I had to ask if this was the number for the lawn care service. He said yep, this is Nathan.

    I explained to him who I was and that I happen to have the same business name as he does. I asked if he was new and he said that this is his first year. I told him of our dilema and asked if he registered with the state, he said no. (OH NO he aint payin taxes). I told him that I don't have a copyright on the name. I told him that I have accounts set up at many business around the area so there won't be any confusion. I told him good luck.

    I am not really worried about this because as I said, I have just about all I need and I am not looking for major expansion. There really isn't much I can do anyway. My business name is Bay Area Lawn Care, which fits nice since I am near Green Bay and the first letters of each word correspond with letters in my last name.

    Anyone have the same situation or any general comments?
  2. DLS1

    DLS1 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,619

    I'm confused about your statement on confusion. Are you saying he will change his name so there is no confusion?
  3. MOW ED

    MOW ED LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,028

    No, I am saying that I let him know that I have accoiunts set at businesses for supplies, fertilizer, fuel, repairs, ect and I wanted him to know that so if he goes to set an account up and finds my business name there he won't be surprised.
  4. jocko1104

    jocko1104 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 141

    Holy name snatching batman!

    I think that I would be a little more firm. I wouldnt want someone calling that number, thinking that it was me, and getting el scrubo.

    You say that you spread from word of mouth? I wonderwhat people would be saying then?

    You protect yourself in every other way, ie... insurance, contratcts, licenses, taxes, safety. Why stop there?

    My .02
  5. DLS1

    DLS1 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,619

    When I registered with the state of Missouri there was another company with same exact name. I am in Kansas City area but he is in St. Louis area so I decided to keep my name. If he was in same town or close by I would have picked another name.

    When I setup my business checking account at the bank they said I was already setup. Turns out same name for company in Denver that banks with them. We have 2 kids at home still who have savings accounts at same bank that we do. We setup ours with overdraft protection to take out the money from our savings account if there is an overdraft. Well we finally had a few overdrafts in one month (forgot to enter a large debit in our check register) but it turns out they had our overdraft tied to one of our daughters savings accounts and not ours.

    From all that, I am trying to say I could see problems for you with mistaken company names with the other guy.

    I would ask him to change his name. If he says no,then to scare him a little to nudge him to change it, then tell him you will need to call the state to ask about problems you may have for filing taxes when he is not registered and he files his taxes and uses the same name as yours for his business. That should get him thinking.
  6. bill--bls

    bill--bls LawnSite Member
    Messages: 34

    did you file a fictious name report when you started up?

    as you said you reg. that name it's YOURS, protect your name and rep.

  7. Richard Martin

    Richard Martin LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,699

    In Maryland if you are setup 100% legal you will have an "L" number from the state department of assesments and taxation. It is a property tax identification number. When you apply for the number you need to give them info like your name and address. You also give them the name of your comapny and only one company can have a given name in the state. I would definately urge the other individual to change his company's name.
  8. AielLandscaping

    AielLandscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 302

    when i started my business i had to file a fictitious business name. i had to go to the county clerk recorders office and pay a small fee to use their computer and check my desired name against their database. as far as i know it is illegal to run a business using a fictitous name without going thru the clerk recorders office. otherwise i think in order to use the same name as someone else, the business has to be set up differently, like labeled "franchise" or "corporation". i could be wrong since you live an another state, but i'd check out what my legal options are with an attorny. just think what happens if this guys is going around and gets his hands into your nieghboorhoods then does a terrible job. if his name spreads and people are talking about what a bad job he does, they might be confused because the names are the same. so in a since people you don't know, people you didn't work for, could be talking badly about your company. i'd be coughing blood and pissing rage all over this guy.
  9. John Allin

    John Allin LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,488

    This kid goes to Daddy and tells him the story, then Daddy calls his lawyer and the kid files the name legal, and YOU'RE getting a phone call from the kid saying "Change Your Name, Clem"..... and you'll be a wonderin why you didn't get the jump on this "kid". Think you'll like changing all your accounts then ??

    Aiel's right. This happened to us back in the early 80's. I played hardball and the guy changed his name pronto. Interestingly enough, we bought him out when he went bankrupt a few years back, and now he's my best salesman......
  10. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,497

    So will the real slim shady PLEASE stand up? Are you guys like in the same county, or what? He shouldn'y be able to use this name in any way shape or form, regardless if you already have it registered.

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