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Business name advice needed

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  • Business name advice needed


    This posting is based around NAMING of a business, and the boundaries/risks around it. I have a number of questions based on my current situation. I'd appreciate any clarification around this topic...

    Keep in mind, that all of the names I've used below are fictitious, but it reflects my current situation exactly.

    I just started a business (it's a t-shirt clothing company) a few months old now, and I've named it "HIGH LIFE CLOTHING CO". I have registered it as a partnership with two business partners (under the name HIGH LIFE CLOTHING CO), it's not incorporated as yet. We officially launch in September 2010. At this point, we've been promoting the brand and creating buzz which has been going great so far. We've received a lot of great feedback on our clothes, and business in general.

    I recently discovered that there is another company (a brand consulting company) called "HIGH LIFE" based out of the same city that I am in. Under their company, there are three child companies: 1) BLINDING; 2) JAMPER; 3) BORNFOOT. All of them are clothing lines (t-shirts, belts, footwear, respectively). The CEO of HIGH LIFE does not promote his parent company brand name, however, all three child companies are well known and profitable across North America (i.e. they have stores and have a constant flow of revenue).

    I'm looking for some legal advice on how to proceed. Here are my options, based on certain assumptions I've made:

    1) Change our name now, before we launch to avoid hassle. This will be taking a step back from all the promotion we've been doing, but will save ourselves from future hassle.
    2) Approach the CEO of HIGH LIFE (the brand consulting company), and ask him if he would like to "invest" in us. Meaning, we propose that we give him a certain stake in our business, and in return, he would support and help build our business using his network of people in high places. If he says no, we change our name.
    3) Do nothing, and run the risk of getting sued sooner or later:
    a) SOONER - if we get sued in the next year, he may not even have a case, but he may just be doing it under the assumption that we have no money to see the case through. i.e. a scare tactic.
    b) LATER - at this point, if we are profitable, we can see the court case through possibly.

    The thing that scares me the most is the 'SOONER' scenario. We have NO money to see a court case through (even if we know that we have a case to win).

    What do we do in this situation? How much do we have to tweak our name in order to avoid risk? (i.e. can we change our name to HIGHLIFE (one word), or HI LIFE)? Either way, he can still take us to court as a scare tactic.

    I'd like some honest legal advice on how to proceed, even if it's just "CHANGE YOUR DAMN NAME" flat out.

    Thank you greatly. Again, any professional advice would be greatly appreciated.


  • #2
    You need tech support to discuss this privately. What's in a name anyway? EVERYTHING.
    Please read the forum rules before you post.

    And if you need extra help:
    Modee Tech Support