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In the simplest of words, it’s not allowed. The only names you can reuse are the unregistered business names. So, before you decide on a business name, the most important task is to check for its availability. Join us as we discuss the consequences of using a company name that already exists and why you need to change your company name if someone else already has it. It is important to know more about shielding your company from legal trouble regarding brand names. Read on to learn more.

Using registered business names: Is it legal? 

No, you cannot use another company’s name if it is already registered. According to the Companies Act of 2013, once a company or LLP is registered, the Ministry of Corporate Affairs will not permit the registration of any other company or LLP with the same name. But, in case a trademark is not registered, third parties may be allowed to use it. 

For example, ABC Technology LLP cannot be registered if ABC Technology Private Limited is a registered business name. Nonetheless, the company can tweak the name to ABC Technologies. When a company or LLP is registered, it prevents other companies or LLPs from being registered under the same name or one that is similar to it. In order to prevent any such thing from happening, it is advisable to protect the company name with a trademark.

A company name cannot be the same as or confusingly similar to a registered brand, according to the Companies Act of 2013. Thus, in order to prevent a corporation or limited liability partnership (LLP) from formulating the same or similar names, any entrepreneur with a creative business name idea in mind can register their trademark.

What are the consequences of reusing a registered company name?

Here is some good news for those with a dream business name but cannot use it since it has been registered already! You might still be able to use the desired name if you can demonstrate that your business is way different from the one that is already using the name. Generally, this boils down to whether or not the products or services that the two businesses provide are similar enough for customers to mistake them for one another. 

If the other business has a trademark, the current owner infringes upon this legal protection by using the same company name. In such a case, he/she must change the name to avoid a possibly detrimental lawsuit based on the trademark already in use. The current owner may seek legal help from a business lawyer and then file a lawsuit if their company has a trademark and someone else registers a new business under the same name.

Consult a business lawyer for all your business name troubles

Initially, try using the MCA website to look for the firm name. The website will list the firm name if it is already taken or registered. You might want to see a corporate legal advisor in Kolkata right away if the other company continues to use your name. They may, for example, issue a cease-and-desist letter. If that fails, they can assist you in deciding if it makes sense to bring a civil action against that business. For any further query, feel free to contact us anytime!

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