Gabby does not have unlimited rights to use her surname anyway she chooses. Although Gabby may have filed the proper documents to register her business trade name as Rally’s Pizza with the appropriate government agency to obtain the proper permits, licenses and employer tax ids, she will be subject to trademark limitations since Rally’s Motors has a similar business name in the same geographical area. According to the Small Business Administration, some states require fictitious business names are registered “with the state government or with the county clerk’s office; there are a few states that do not require the registering of fictitious business names” at all (SBA.gov, n.d.). It would behoove new business owners to research a potential business name to ensure it’s not already being used. The Small Business Administration provides some pointers on where to begin searching for existing business names. One can start with their county to see if the name has been registered as a DBA (doing business as). A new business owner can also check with the state to verify if a business name is already being used by an existing corporation or limited liability company. Using various search engines to research potential names on the internet is another suggested method to research a business name. Lastly, one can conduct a free trademark search at Name Protect (SBA.gov, n.d.). In... [continues]
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