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Can I Use Any Name for My Business?

Posted by Chris Peterson | May 29, 2014 | 0 Comments

Can I Use Any Name for My Business?

Business namesWhen deciding on a name to use for your business, it's best to come up with several options in case you can't legally use your first choice. The Texas Business Organizations Code states that a new business can't use a name that is the same or deceptively similar to an existing Texas business or a business from another state which is required to file reports in Texas. You also can't use a business name if the secretary of state has reserved the name for someone else.

What if I want to use a business name which is similar to one already in use?

In some cases, a business can use a name which is similar to an existing business, but only if the existing business consents in writing. One scenario where this may apply is if a business owner wants to open a second business, but keep the corporate books, records and accounting processes completely separate from the first business.

How can I find out if a name is available or reserve my business name?

The Corporations Section in the Texas secretary of state's office provides preliminary determinations via telephone or email inquiry. If the name you selected is available, the next step is completing the process to officially reserve your business name. This prevents anyone else from adopting your business name while you're in the process of forming your business.

Are there any other restrictions on naming my business?

Yes. Even if the name you selected is available according to the secretary of state, you may not be able to legally use it if the name is a trademark or service mark of another company. An internet search may be helpful in determining whether the name is a trademark or service mark. A trademark search may also be helpful, but only if the mark is a registered trademark. (Non-registered trademarks may still be valid trademarks, despite non-registration.)

This and other business start-up and management questions are the reason you need a reliable attorney who is experienced in the laws of doing business in Texas. Our Bryan-College Station, Texas business law attorneys guide new and established entrepreneurs through the legal aspects of starting and running your business. Call us at Peterson Law Group to make an appointment at 979-703-7014” target=”_blank”>979-703-7014 or fill out our online contact form today to start making your business dreams a reality.

About the Author

Chris Peterson

Chris Peterson is the owner of Peterson Law Group. He practices primarily in the areas of wills, trusts and estate planning; probate and trust administration; elder law; and business law. Chris is also the owner of Brazos 1031 Exchange Company.


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