Can Someone Use Your Name for a Business Without Permission?

As noted above, the right of publicity is the legal right to control the commercial use of a person's name, image, or other aspects of identity. This right is infringed when a person's name or image is used to sell or advertise goods or services without their permission. On this website, visit the state's business name database page and use the “search by entity name” field to enter your company name and perform a search. If another company claims to have used the name of the company before you, you need to prove the opposite.

You must demonstrate that both your business and the one that shares your name are similar or related enough to cause confusion among customers. The trademark protects the identity of your company and prevents another person from using similar words, names, or symbols to sell similar products or services. If you want to use the same business name to open a second branch and keep separate records, this is not a violation. A cease and desist letter is the first remedy you can use if you haven't given your consent for another company to use your name.

In addition, they can show how it can affect your business by confusing your customers about the association between your company and another entity that uses the same name. If you determine that there will be no unfair competition and the other company kindly requests it, you can give your written consent for the other company to use the same name or one similar to yours. The legal action to take depends on several factors, and a Michigan business attorney can help you evaluate the situation and advise you accordingly. Therefore, the company name must be unique to your company and customers must be able to associate it solely with their company.

Once you have your trademark, start using your company name for your products, services, and advertising right away. In other words, you must show that your company and the other company that shares the name have very similar or related business activities, and that the name causes confusion among customers.

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