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  1. chris day
    Offline

    chris day Regular EF Member

    Location:
    london
    Business Name:
    Chris peter
    hello guys

    I am in a bit of a mess at the moment as I had just discovered another company up north has exactly the same
    Name as myself after all my clients and all s my branding in may have to change everything!!!

    I operate in London and was wondering if anyone before has been forced to change their names?

    I was wondering if I should just talk to the guy as his company had been formed long before i formed my company.
     
  2. snowhead
    Offline

    snowhead Trusted Advisor

    Location:
    Mildlands
    There can't be 2 companies registered at Companies House both with exactly the same name.
     
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    • Agree Agree x 1
  3. buzzlightyear
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    buzzlightyear Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    star command
    are you ltd company !
     
  4. darkwood
    Offline

    darkwood For it is a human number, its number is 666 Staff Member Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    West Yorkshire
    When I registered my company I did a name sweep and had to tweak it a few times, the question is, does it or will it effect your trade and did you register it first?
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
  5. buzzlightyear
    Offline

    buzzlightyear Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    star command
    or did you steal the name from them!
     
    • Like Like x 1
  6. chris day
    Offline

    chris day Regular EF Member

    Location:
    london
    Business Name:
    Chris peter
    so the company names X for example which I chose to match my second name.
    That company is X electrical and I am X electrical solutions.
    The person registered before me and I am sole trader going to register, company house does not currently have x electrical solutions LTD however it does have X Electrical if that makes any sense.
    Does anyone else have a crossed swords with names?
     
  7. chris day
    Offline

    chris day Regular EF Member

    Location:
    london
    Business Name:
    Chris peter
    No I didn't steel the name as it was thought up in line with my second name however I may as well had done because they registered before me
     
  8. buzzlightyear
    Offline

    buzzlightyear Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    star command
    then you will have to change the name again ,the reasons if they fold.
    then some people think its you .if you register your name.
     
  9. Joshua
    Offline

    Joshua Steel Electrical Contractors Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    Essex
    Business Name:
    Steel Electrical Contractors
    Could always change your name slightly.
    for example if your company was Day Electrical then change it to Daylight Electrical, shouldn't be too much hassle to change everything over. Your customers will still recognise your logo.
     
    • Like Like x 4
  10. Murdoch
    Offline

    Murdoch Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    Woking
    My business name is very similar to one in Essex, I often get calls for them....

    Unless you are limited and registered at companies house there is nothing you can do ..... May add "town name" after your company name?
     
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  11. chris day
    Offline

    chris day Regular EF Member

    Location:
    london
    Business Name:
    Chris peter
    i am so stressed out with things I am tempered to call them and ask what they think I should do?
     
  12. spinlondon
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    spinlondon Trusted Advisor

    Location:
    Harlow Essex
    I wouldn't worry about it, unless you intend expanding into their territory.
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
  13. westward10
    Offline

    westward10 In echoed steps I walk across an empty dream. Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    Northamptonshire
    Doubt it is worth stressing over.
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
  14. Midwest
    Offline

    Midwest Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    Oxfordshire
    As I recall the rules for registering for a Sole Trader are different for a LTD company.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  15. marc8
    Offline

    marc8 Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    Essex
    Business Name:
    MTS Electrical Ltd
    had a new business all set a while back just about to trade went to see trademark lawyer to see about trademarking the name & found out someone had it & who had it Centrica, broke my heart about 50 boxes of printing had to be disposed of.
    but a least we did not trade.
     
  16. polo1
    Offline

    polo1 Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    Glasgow
    Business Name:
    GW Electrical & Security
    From what you have said, you don't have exactly the same trading name, so what's the problem?
    As others have said, unless your trading areas overlap and there might be customer confusion, can't see the issue!
     
    • Agree Agree x 4
  17. Richard Burns
    Offline

    Richard Burns Trusted Advisor

    Location:
    Cambridgeshire
    Business Name:
    Richard Burns
    I concur with the above, if the name is not exactly the same to the last detail then it is not the same.
    If you have looked at companies house lists then you will have seen there are hundreds of nearly similar names for companies.
    This is standard and generally only causes problems if they are in a local area.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  18. Midwest
    Offline

    Midwest Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    Oxfordshire
    Which is the context of sole trader & limited company. Sole trader can have exactly the same name, as long as its not in the same locality.

    Which are you OP?
     
  19. chris day
    Offline

    chris day Regular EF Member

    Location:
    london
    Business Name:
    Chris peter
    Ok guys thanks for all your replies, phoned company director up and he says he has no issues and good luck!!!
     
    • Like Like x 2
  20. Midwest
    Offline

    Midwest Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    Oxfordshire
    Which are you?
     
  21. anthonybragg
    Offline

    anthonybragg Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    NORTHAMPTON
    Business Name:
    CHARLTEC ELECTRICAL LTD
    That's why they say on Watchdog/rouge traders ''not to be confused with companies with a similar /same name''.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  22. Murdoch
    Offline

    Murdoch Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    Woking
    u

    Not sure I agree with the sole trader bit .... There is no register....
     
  23. Midwest
    Offline

    Midwest Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    Oxfordshire
    Tis what I'm saying, although you have to register your trading name with HMRC.
     
  24. TFGtv
    Offline

    TFGtv Active EF Member

    Actually guys, sorry... But this CAN be quite a serious can of worms!

    If the other company (or individual) has been trading longer THEY have the right to the 'brand'; it's that simple. - And it's bolstered/evidenced by the fact they're registered at companies house.

    There is NO register of business names in the UK - however the use of a business name is governed by Part 41 of the Companies Act 2006 and The Company, Limited Liability Partnership and Business (Names and Trading Disclosures) regulations 2015 (SI 2015/17).

    Business names are automatically protected under the law of ‘passing off’. A court can order you to stop, and to compensate the owner of the same or a similar business name for any loss they have suffered, if
    • they are already using the name that you want, or one like it
    • the name has developed a reputation in the marketplace, so goodwill is attached to it
    • consumers are misled (or might be misled) into thinking that you are the same business (ie you are ‘passing off’ your goods or services as being connected)
    If you are both in the same industry sector, or trade in the same geographic area, you are at greater risk of a passing off action.

    If the other business has registered the name you want, or one like it it's in an even stronger position if you are using the name in relation to similar goods and services. In these circumstances there is no need to prove anyone is likely to be misled.

    To put the tin hat on it... If there is a design element in a name, like a logo or graphic, it may be a ‘literary creation’ and therefore automatically protected under copyright law, too. The other business can take you to court for infringing their copyright if you intentionally copy it, or a significant part of it. If you use it on your goods you can be forced to stop, hand them over, pay damages and account for profits you have made. Depending on the circumstances, it may also be a criminal offence.

    How do I know this? Well primarily my own business services the marketing and PR 'trade'; I also lectured for a dozen years in TV production with Entrepreneurial Skills and Media Law as two of my specialties... I've also had to 'go to bat' to protect a couple of my own 'brands'; and got as far as the front door of the court with it... This is no fun.

    The O/P 'might' be 'OK' as he's spoken to the MD of the LTD company; just remember the old adage about a verbal contract not being worth the paper it's written on though!

    Then there is the fact that from a PR and marketing perspective having a confusing trading name is, frankly, a bit naff.

    Get some proper legal advice on this; it might cost you a few quid now but better that than a fortune later.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  25. 1Justin
    Offline

    1Justin Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    Surrey
    Business Name:
    Circitas Ltd
    Which of you holds the URL? That one holds the best cards. (Disregarding issues of limited status names which are protected)
     
  26. TFGtv
    Offline

    TFGtv Active EF Member

    I'm afraid that's simply not the case Justin... The court will make its decision based on evidence of use in trade - something that may well precede the very existence or URLs! - With that said, if you were choosing a trade name these days one of the first steps to take is to make sure you can get the .com clean and clear.
     
  27. 1Justin
    Offline

    1Justin Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    Surrey
    Business Name:
    Circitas Ltd
    Yes, I guess that's the case. Hmm.

    But on a note to anyone else looking at potential URL's. I'm convinced that there is an army of "bots" working on behalf of those companies which buy and own (for sale) URL's of potential businesses.
    I think it's like airline tickets. Beware of using sites to look-up whether URL's are available. Do research before hitting these sites, and when you do, be ready with your credit card immediately to snap it up on first visit. - If you go back later, you might mysteriously find it unavailable, - and that won't be coincidence!
     
  28. TFGtv
    Offline

    TFGtv Active EF Member

    - The best 'search' technique is simply to type your proposed URL into your browser; if it's 'not found' then do the search with your favourite broker. And yes, if you have an idea for a brand, see if the .com and the .co.uk is available and just buy it there and there. Some time down the line it might just help you evidence 'first use'.

    Registering the name as LTD and just keeping it 'dormant' (dormant accounts aren't hard to file, and it's only £13/year for the confirmation statement) can also be useful evidence; additionally, if you are 'crossed' you can have the LTD do the suing - ring fencing your own assets and deflecting the risk.

    You're right, for a good 20-0dd years now firms have been speculatively buying up 'good' URLs, and they flog them on at a price; if it's a 'new' brand and you're hell-bent on having it all you can do is pay them. - Having said that, there are rules and laws about 'cybersquatting' too; so if somebody has bought a URL relating to a brand that IS already 'yours' it can be claimed back. - Not easy quick or cheap though.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  29. anthonybragg
    Offline

    anthonybragg Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    NORTHAMPTON
    Business Name:
    CHARLTEC ELECTRICAL LTD
    This reminds me when ATV had to form a new company to get the Midlands ITV licence to broadcast someone went about buying all the company names with Central in it in the hope that the they could sell it at a fortune to the company however it backfired when they chose Central Independent Television Ltd.
     
  30. TFGtv
    Offline

    TFGtv Active EF Member

    Back in the late 90s/early 2000s there was a lot of that sort of thing around.... Scottish Television (STV) doesn't have STV.com for example... It belongs to some sort of investment company; and they've spent years promoting (the IMHO clumsy) stv.tv

    I think most of the old independents are now directing to some branch of ITV.com or another... And IIRC there was some debacle over that back in the day. Not sure if they coughed up or took it to the judge.
     
  31. coolsparx
    Offline

    coolsparx EF Member

    Location:
    Gloucestershire
    Business Name:
    Breeze Electrical Solutions
    I had almost exactly the same situation, when I set up I did all the usual searches etc, but didn't come up with anything. I received an email out of the blue after trading for 2 years, I was x Electrical Solutions & he was x Electrical. I am a sole trader & I think he was too, but he claimed to have been trading first so asked me to change my name, naturally I went into a worrying panic too.

    However my situation was different in that the other guy was only about 20 miles away, so I replied to his email & asked to meet up for a coffee. At our meeting, I agreed to change my name if he agreed to help pay for my branding changes, which he did.

    Six years on, it seems like a distant memory.
     
    • Like Like x 4
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