How can I get a company with the same name as mine to halt operations?
I have a business in Ohio and it has recently come to my attention that there is a business operating under the same name but has not officially registered the name. I would like this company to seize and desist operation under my registered business name or I am willing to sell the business and name to that company. However I have not trademarked the name. My goal is simply to understand any legal considerations in requiring this other business to halt operating under the name or if I choose to sell, do I need to trademark the name as well?
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
Assuming the business that's using your exact name is also based in Ohio, you have a legitimate gripe. One of the important reasons for registering business names is to ensure that the general public isn't confused about the identity of the companies they're doing business with.
You do not need to have trademarked your name in order to be entitled to exclusive registration of that business name (through your Secretary of State). However, make sure that you're talking about the use of your EXACT name, and not something that's close. If your company is Right Way Manufacturing and the "interloper" is Right Way Bed Manufacturing, the two might peaceably co-exist.
If you're thinking, though, of giving up your company name in exchange for compensation, then definitely speak to a corporate attorney in your area about the strategy you want to use. "Cease and desist" letters carry a lot more wallop when the person signing them has "Esq" after her name.
More from Entrepreneur
Are paying too much for business insurance? Do you have critical gaps in your coverage? Trust Entrepreneur to help you find out.