Ask Entrepreneur

How Do I Relaunch a Defunct Business?

I am looking into starting a buisness with four to five other people and we would like to resurrect a business that has not existed since 1958. We checked the United States Patent and Trademark Office website and the name of that business does not seem to be registered. Will we have any problems using the same name? Are there any other legal issues to consider?
Any time you want to launch or resurrect a business, you have a couple legal issues to consider when choosing a name. First, you want to be sure that the name is available with your state's Secretary of State.

Second, you'll want to see if the name has been trademarked by another company by doing a full trademark search -- one that looks at state-level trademarks, company names and domain names, not just checking with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. You can run into trademark snags if another company is already using the name but hasn't gotten around to registering it.

Also, where you need to be careful is in researching the reputation of the old defunct business, particularly if it's it in the same industry. You want to be sure there aren't any lingering bad feelings about the business such that people would associate them with yours.

Related: How to Name -- or Re-Name -- Your Business
Related: What's In a Name?

Share Your Thoughts

Today's Editor's Picks

About ASK ENTREPRENEUR

Ask Entrepreneur is a question-and-answer forum for and by the Entrepreneur.com community. Send in your burning business question, or comment on someone else's now. Have a Question? Ask Now

Topics (over 1000+ answers)

Ask Entrepreneur Q&A Hangouts

Google + Hangout With Shark Tank
Google + Hangout With Jason Falls
Google + Hangout With Angela Jia Kim
Google + Hangout With Grant Cardone

ASK Quick Tips