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Are you struggling to come up with a name for your new business? Not sure if the name is okay to use? What if there is another business in your state using the same name or a similar business name? What if that business sues you for using their name? And what if another business tries using your name? These are great topics to chat about with a business attorney.

There are so many questions around coming up with a business name. There are some hard limits to follow, and there is also plenty of grey area. One thing you can’t do is register a business in California with the exact same name as another business registered in California—the Secretary of State won’t allow it. So, we know you can’t register a business with the exact same name, but what about a similar name, or the same name as a business in another state? 

The general rule is that you don’t want your business name to be confusingly similar with another business name, otherwise you may violate someone else’s trademark. Let’s use my business as an example. I run a virtual law practice, so I want to make sure potential clients can easily find me online. Nearly every business these days has a web presence, and I would guess that many, if not all, of your customers will find you online. You want to make it easy for your business to show up when potential customers are looking for you. If your name is the same or similar to another business, then you run the risk of confusing customers, your ideal URL being unavailable, and potentially running into trademark issues. 

Do you want my secret for the easiest solution to avoiding the most common problems with a business name? Come up with a unique name. For example, search the name “Coepio Legal,” and see what comes up. Do you notice anything about the results? As of the time I wrote this, every single result on the first two pages of Google was either related to my business law firm or my business attorney profile. That was intentional. I didn’t want potential clients to confuse me with any other business, I wanted the URL to be open, and I didn’t want to avoid legal issues with my business name. 

When coming up with your own name, check multiple sources to ensure that it is unique. The easiest thing to do is Google the name to see what comes up. Also, make sure to check state and federal government databases so you know if other businesses are using the same or a similar name. Don’t forget to confirm the URL is available as well.

When you need the assistance of an expert legal attorney in California, Coepio Legal is here to help. To get started with our firm, contact us today!