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  • #991555
    HappyHarrie
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    Hello everyone

    I have chosen a name for my editing and writing business, however, it is the same name as a dissolved (since 2009) UK-based company.

    When I Google the business name, information about the dissolved UK-based company comes up (address, phone number, some of the key staff, etc.), mostly on company search websites. The company used to do graphic design for the financial services and was eventually amalgamated into a larger company which has since been bought by an even larger company.

    I can’t find any other web presence for the dissolved company. I own the domain name for the business name. I am assuming that once I get my website up and running, it will be the first thing that appears in Google.

    My question: Is it a good idea to use the same name or should I choose another name?

    Thanks

    #1182053
    Anonymous
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    Hi HappyHarrie,

    Great question! I hope that the brains trust here will be along shortly with some comments for you.

    In the meantime, thanks for joining us, and welcome aboard,
    Jayne

    #1182054
    I.T. Guaranteed
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    A business name is very important. You don’t say if you have registered yours? You are correct in that your listing will filter to the top particularly if you follow the excellent advice of the SEO gurus here (of which I am not one.) Regular bloging will help that.
    As long as the other business is dead and buried and has no negative history you will probably be OK.

    #1182055
    bb1
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    Yes with good SEO your website should go to the top of the list, but you dont say if there is any negative stuff around the dissolved company, people don’t always just look at the first listing, anyone doing good due dilligence on a company will also look further than a business’s website, and if they find negative stuff, it could reflect badly on you even though it is not you.

    I guess not an issue if it is all good stuff, but I would look carefully, at what a prospective client will see,

    #1182056
    ThexArm
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    As Bert said, as long as there is no bad reputation involved with the dissolved company you are good to go…

    You don’t normally google before registering for a business because not all registered businesses comes up in google as not all businesses choose to list on google or work on seo to get it up so that it is even visible.

    You need to look at ASIC’s business name search portal – here.

    Even if the search in the above search shows the business name is available – it will be ASIC’s final decision as to award the name to you when you formally lodge an application. So, I would wait until I formally get the business name before applying for domain name etc.

    As you were saying that dissolved company now belongs to a larger company, even if they think there is any goodwill attached to that business and your product/service is a close match to their previous business then the larger company may come after you. Because we don’t know if there is any IP!!

    #1182057
    CanaryTradeMarkAssistance
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    Good calls on the reputation issue. You don’t want someone else’s unfavourable rep rubbing off on your shiny new business.

    ThexArm is also spot on, pointing out the issue around IP. It’s an important one to consider and is a separate issue to business names.

    It’s good news for you that the other company seems to have been dissolved, but if a larger company has acquired its assets (which may include IP, like the trade mark of the company name) then they may still have legal rights to come after you if you’re using that trade mark.

    Having a quick look on ATMOSS is always a good idea when choosing a business name. Just because the business name is available via ASIC, doesn’t mean someone else doesn’t already have the trade mark rights (and could therefore potentially stop you using your business name).

    I went into the differences here between trade marks and business names in a recent post on these forums. I think the last two sections in that post would be of interest to you (namely, ‘Searching ATMOSS for Trade Marks’ and ‘More Info on Business Names vs. Trade Marks’).

    One last note: even if you feel your business is very different than the dissolved business (e.g. editing/writing vs. graphic design), their trade mark rights may extend beyond what they actually provided in the marketplace and could cover the areas you’re trading in. Trade marks are registered for 10 years and can be renewed each 10 years, so their rights may still be ongoing if they registered in Australia.

    In summary, while the other company appears to be dissolved, there may still be someone out there with active legal rights in Australia who could see your usage of the business name as infringing their trade mark. Probably best to look into it before getting too committed.

    If you need more advice or assistance on the trade mark side of things, feel free to reply or message me.

    #1182058
    JacquiPryor
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    Hi there,

    Just to add a quick note to the earlier responses around trademarks… trademark rights are a country-by-country matter. So, if the dissolved company is UK based they may not have sought to register a trademark in Australia. If they have registered in the UK you would need to consider this if the UK is a market you intend to enter.

    #1182059
    HappyHarrie
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    Thank you all for your helpful feedback. Sounds like it might be easier for me to come up with a different business name so I’d better get my thinking cap on.

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