Rights to company name

Discussion in 'Network: South' started by longjohn, Apr 10, 2003.

  1. longjohn

    longjohn LawnSite Member
    Messages: 15

    I have something I would like some input on. Yesterday I saw another LCO with my company name on his truck. There was a difference in that my logo is "By the Yard" his is "BY THE YARD". I called the guy and explained who I am and that we seem to have the same company name. He said he registered his name in January '03 I did mine in May '02. He said he asked if the name was in use and they said no so he took it. I called the county clerks office and they told me I would have to come in and go through their records to verify if they did in fact tell him the name was not taken.
    Have any of you had any similar problems? Any suggestions on what to do next?
  2. LWNMWR1

    LWNMWR1 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 188

    never had this problem but keep a level head and do the checking cause if you did regester the name it is yours!! i know a guy around here that hasn't registered hjis name in 15 years. we talked about it last summer. i know for a fact this guy would go bs if someone pulled this. with out registering there's nothin you can do about it.
  3. Theroadrage

    Theroadrage LawnSite Member
    Messages: 25

    What is the cost and procedure to register your company name?Also what kind of yearly procedure do you have to go through to maintain it?Furthermore,what are the pros of being"incorporated"? Thanks and sorry for the 20 questions routine!!!!!
  4. ThreeWide

    ThreeWide LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,116

    All of this varies from state to state, but since we both are in GA I can elaborate.

    You incorporate through the Secretary of State and the procedure CAN be done by you for a total cost of about $150. You can pay a lawyer to do it for you which is never cheaper than $1000.

    The GA SOS website has all the forms and info online if you want do it yourself. I have done it before.

    Once you are setup, it only costs $15 per year to retain your registration.

    As far as reserving a business name without incorporating, you can do this through your county Superior clerk office for $10.
  5. PR Fect

    PR Fect LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,076

    I would not worry so much about who can use the name, but how you can make yourself not seen as the same company. My old boss D&D Landscape had another D&D Landscape in the next city. He would often get the other company's bills! We added the city name after the co. name to help the public tell us apart. Then added Landscaping & Excavating. If they do poor work, you don't want your name dragged down.
  6. mtdman

    mtdman LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,143

    I just went through this. When I started, all I needed was a DBA, or doing business as registration in my county. That reserved my name in the county. But in Michigan, if you incorporate, you get the exclusive rights to that name in the state, no matter how long someone holds the DBA registration. I discovered that recently a company in the neighboring county started up with my name plus "and Maintainence" added to it, and it was incorporated. When it came time to renew my DBA last year, my county almost wouldn't let me register. But in Michigan, if the name is as little as one character different, it is considered a different name and they allowed me to register the DBA. But I went to a lawyer and had him file an LLC for me, which reserved the name throughout the state for me. Since my name didn't have the "and Maintainence" in it, I could register it. The LLC in Michigan is very simple and not nearly as complicated as an Incorporation, but it gives me the same rights to my name as a Corp.

    In Michigan, the fact that his name was all caps wouldn't matter if you were Inc or LLC. If as little as 1 letter was different, different spelling, etc, you'd be out of luck.

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