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Business names

Business names

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Short of registering my business as a limited company, what's to stop an ex employee setting up a limited company with the name of my unincorporated business? If he doesn't trade but just owns the company for its name, is that still "passing off" ?

Jim

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By vowlesj
24th Nov 2007 12:01

yes you can be stuffed
There is absolutely nothing to prevent anyone from incorporating a limited company or limited liability partnership in the name of an existing business ... so a good protection if you have a brand value that needs protecting is to incorporate -even if you keep the company dormant (which is inexpensive) and continue to trade as an unincorporated business.

Yes you may have remedies in law for passing off - but difficult to enforce, all they have to do is to vary the business name a bit to sidestep this. eg instead of calling it Jim Ltd, they could call it Jym Ltd

If you want to look at incorporation then check out vowles.co.uk as we offer it ... (but then so do lots of people)

Jonathan

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By BigBri
25th Nov 2007 10:45

Passing off
My understanding is that you have to have suffered damage to pursue passing off. The Jim/Jym example is enough to get through at Companies House because the name is sufficiently different for registration. However, just try selling cute toys as 'Dysney' or groceries as 'Hayrrods' and see what you get.

As with all pursuits for damages, you must qustion the potential value recovery against the effort and cost involved.

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By Anonymous
27th Nov 2007 09:12

Nominet
Walt or Mo would haul you over the coals because of the trade marks protecting their trading names. If you haven't protected it, your employee might steal your logo as well as your name, Jim.

Don't stop at forming a protective limited company - go to Nominet and register your trading name for a domain name Jim.co.uk (costs a few quid) before some pain in the a*** steals that. Maybe the Jim.com domain name too.

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