Los Angeles, CA asked in Business Formation and Business Law for California

Q: If I am looking to start a business, but the name is taken on facebook and instagram but inactive, can that be trouble?

I am trying to start a business but the name is taken on instagram and facebook, but the accounts have not posted in years, and has under 100 followers on instagram and just 2 on facebook, can that lead to trouble?

2 Lawyer Answers
Richard Michael Gee
Richard Michael Gee
Answered
  • Lakewood, CO
  • Licensed in California

A: It's possible that you may have an issue with the name. I'd probably look at the US Trademark database (uspto.gov) to see if anyone has filed a trademark for the name. If not, I'd check the database for your state's secretary of state and any fictitious business name (i.e., "doing business as" or "dba") database in the state where you plan to do business to see if anything has been filed. I would also check to see if there is a website with the name. This does not guarantee you won't have issues, but if no one has filed any of these documents with respect to the name you are proposing to use, the chances of your having a problem with the name are probably less.

Robert Philip Cogan
Robert Philip Cogan
Answered
  • San Diego, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: "Taken" is not the issue for trademark conflicts. There are many marks that are the same as others. However, they are generally in different categories and have minimal or no overlapping customer bases. A trademark attorney can assist you in determining the chances of your mark becoming a distinctive brand name.

Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.

The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.

Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.