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looking for some advice about my company name

W

whitevanman

New Member
As i said in my noob post iv had my decorating business for two years, im a sole trader.
My problem is recently iv noticed on yell.com somone around 38 miles away from me has started using the same company name as me, iv been on the net for a wile, had my website going for two years aswell.
I pride myself on my standard of work and dont want my reputation ruined by somone that potentially hasnt got the same standard, and potentially taking work from me.
Am i going to have to go limited and possibly copyright my name to save it, need to know where i stand on this.
i havent contacted the person yet for the fear he may take measures to keep the name before me.
Any help would be greatly appreciated
 
Mike Lewis

Mike Lewis

New Member
You're right to be concerned about this. It sounds like you're in an unfortunate situation.

You say the guy's using the same company name as you. But you also say you're a sole trader, which means you don't have a company name.

If the guy has the same trading name as you, and if that name is the same as his own name or some variation of it, your only recourse is if he is deliberately passing himself off as you, that is, deliberately misleading his customers into believing that he is the same firm as you or working in association with you.

If it is just coincidence that you both have the same name, there's not a lot you can do about it. By all means, apply to form a limited company, using your existing trading name as the company name. If the Registrar of Companies approves the name, then you will have a measure of protection. (By the way, you can't "copyright" a business name, but that doesn't affect the situation.)

If you really believe that he is deliberately using your name in order to steal your business (or tarnish your repuation),then talk to a lawyer about the possibility of a "passing off" action against him. I've no idea whether it would be worth the cost and effort, but a lawyer could advise on that, based on your particular circumstances. The fact that you've been trading for a while, and have a website, and presumably printed material or adverts with your name on - all that will be in your favour.

Perhaps other forum members can also make some suggestions.

Mike
 
stugster

stugster

Active Member
Verified Member
I don't have any other suggestions other than what Mike has said. Unless you can easily provide substantial evidence that this guy's intentionally trying to pass himself off as your trading name, then you can't do much (to my knowledge).

It might be worthwhile going Limited anyway, purely from a point of view of limiting any liabilities you might have to the company yourself. There are obviously a lot of important factors to take into account, and it depends on your exact circumstances if this is the right step for you.

What is the company name out of interest? Have you got a website?
 

Virtuo

New Member
the only thing you can do mate is trademark it. it would cost you around £400 per business category to do this and then you are able to defend your name against other businesses more easily, it still costs to defend though. passing off is not the issue here, it is one of brand ownership.

if I were you I would trademark the name now under your own name before setting yourself up as a ltd company, then either sell the trademark or license it to the ltd company. if you set up the ltd company first and then try to trademark the name under the ltd company, your competitor would have more legal right over the name as he was established for longer that your ltd company (remember a ltd co is a seperate legal entity from you).
 
W

whitevanman

New Member
thanks for all the replys, a lot to think about.
My company name is KERR DECOR website is - KERR DECOR homepage
would actually be handy if you guys fancied a look at my website and tell me what you think, dont be scared to be honest ;)
 

Virtuo

New Member
Hi mate, to be honest it looks hideous. I would ditch the background image (the wallpaper "wallpaper") at the very least.
 
theangrydog

theangrydog

New Member
Another MrSite Nightmare, to be honest i have never seen a good website built with there software, If you are looking for a good seo site, it would cost about £100-£150, for a basic site,

As for the other company, dont think he is trying to pass himself off as you, it just happens that he has the same surname,
 
Mike Lewis

Mike Lewis

New Member
I have to agree with Virtuo. Get rid of the background image and it will look a lot better.

A couple of other suggestions:

- Make the menu a bit larger and more prominent.

- Change the title of the home page (that is, the <title> tag) to something like "Kerr Decor - Painters and Decorators in Alloa and Stirling". That way, the site will rank higher in search results if someone searches for, say, "Alloa decorator".

- For the same reason, change the <description> tag to something like "Interior and exterior painting, wallpapering, ames taping, gutter cleaning for householders and businesses in central Scotland".

Apart from that, the site is fine. You don't need to add any anything or make any other major changes.

Mike
 

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