Starting a Business

What should I do if my business name is similar to another business?

Is the name Northshore Computer Tutor LLC different enough from The Computer Tutor Inc. to prevent legal trouble, or trouble registering with the state? I am operating north of Boston, the other registered company is also in Massachusetts, south of Boston.
min read
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

It is the job of the Massachusetts Secretary of State (or the Secretary of State of any other state, for that matter), to make sure that the names of new business entities are "distinguishable" from any previously registered business entities.

In other words, they can't conflict. For example, if there were an �XYZ Corp.� already filed, you could not register �XYZ LLC.� In your case, there would seem to be a sufficient distinction between the two names ("North Shore Computer Tutor" and "The Computer Tutor")--assuming that there are no other company names or registrations that would conflict.

However, to be on the safe side, you should also plan to come up with alternative company names in the event that your name can't be registered. Because under the law of your state, some business names are subject to additional restrictions, you'll want to speak to a local attorney to help you through the process.

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.
Get Your Quote Now

One-on-one online sessions with our experts can help you start a business, grow your business, build your brand, fundraise and more.
Book Your Session

Whether you are launching or growing a business, we have all the business tools you need to take your business to the next level, in one place.
Enroll Now

Latest on Entrepreneur

My Queue

There are no Videos in your queue.

Click on the Add to next to any video to save to your queue.

There are no Articles in your queue.

Click on the Add to next to any article to save to your queue.

There are no Podcasts in your queue.

Click on the Add to next to any podcast episode to save to your queue.

You're not following any authors.

Click the Follow button on any author page to keep up with the latest content from your favorite authors.

It Started As a Joke and Turned Into a Startup That Raised $1 Million in Funding