Can You Use Someone Else’s Gift Basket Business Name?

by Shirley George Frazier

Movies made five or more years apart sometimes have the exact same title. The same is true for song names chosen by different bands and pizza retailers in New York City.

So why can’t you, as a gift basket maker, use the same name that’s already established by another company?

This answer starts with “it depends.” The ability to use the same name that another company has chosen as their business name depends on:

  • How much research you do on names before you select one. It’s easier to search for business names today both online and at your city, county, state, or country bureau where registered business names can be researched. You don’t have to look up names, but it’s wise to do so to know your chosen one is not currently in use.
  • Whether or not the name is trademarked by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (this is specifically for U.S.-based businesses). If trademarked, the name owner can send you a cease-and-desist letter through their attorney. If not trademarked, you can use the name until it is trademarked (unless you’re the person to trademark the name).
  • Whether or not you want to use a name taken by another company. Being unique starts with your company name. Do you want to be confused with another company, especially if that company is practicing bad customer service?

Choosing your business name is the first topic in chapter 3 (Home Office and Workspace Setup and Structure) of the gift basket book, which covers trademarking, registration, and the dreaded cease-and-desist letter that may arrive by mail courtesy of an attorney.

If selecting your business name is important, let the book’s chapter 3 guide you to making good decisions before you add your company name on business cards and other literature that will tell the world about your beautiful gift baskets.

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