Can Two Businesses Have the Same Name?

Published On: Nov 19, 2020 | Read time: 5 min | Updated On: Aug 26, 2021 |

So you’ve started a business, and can’t wait to use the amazing business name you’ve always dreamed about. But before you do, you’re worried about making sure you have a unique business name, as well as if it’s possible for two companies to share the same one. And if it is allowed, is it a good idea to have the same company name as another business?

Before you go through the process of trademarking a name or changing it completely, let’s take a closer look at the ins and outs of business naming, including what it means to have the same name as another business, and how you can address this possible business conflict. We’ll also look at the trademark protection process so you can claim the name you want, and ensure it legally belongs to your business only.

Can my company have the same name as another company?

As an entrepreneur, your company formation affects your legal right to all facets of your business, including your business name.

If you have registered your business name as a sole proprietorship or a partnership, you get to access the benefits of being a business owner, but you do not have any business name protection whatsoever. So, your company can have the same name as another company, and vice versa, with no claims of trademark infringement.

However, if your business is using a company name that’s the same as another incorporated company, there could be grounds for a legal dispute, and you may not be able to legally use the business name.

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What are the rules around names that are the same or too similar?

If you’re worried about your company using the same name as another company and aren’t sure what the rules are around business names that are the same or similar, pause and consider your customer. The claim to a business name has a lot to do with consumer confusion, and whether having two similar or same names will be a sore p