Q: Hello I need help confirming a business name that I’ve “registered” and someone is possibly challenging this name
I’ve researched and seems the format I am using wasn’t registered previously “as I have listed” and have processed the necessary paperwork to register at the state level and per fictitious name guidelines as well what can I do if they persist?
A: Your inquiry is a bit vague as to whether your corporate name and/or fictitious name are registered with the Fla. Division of Corporations exactly as you intended. That is - does the name appearing on Sunbiz.org match the name you are using? Only names that are registered are protected - that is, no one else may legally use those names, and if they do, legal action may be taken (or start with a threat of legal action). If you are using a name that is unregistered, you need to fix it. If someone else registered a name that you wanted to use, but did not register, that party has the right to use that name, and you don't.
A: I agree that it isn't exactly clear what you are asking.
You can search the Florida Department of State, Division of Corporations website for lots of information, such as:
Name of Company - http://search.sunbiz.org/Inquiry/CorporationSearch/ByName
Fictitious Name Registration - http://dos.sunbiz.org/ficinam.html
Name of Trademark - http://search.sunbiz.org/Inquiry/CorporationSearch/ByTrademark
Trademarks can also be registered at the Federal level.
You can search the Federal database, here - https://www.uspto.gov/trademarks-application-process/search-trademark-database.
To be clear, just because you have "registered" a name or filed a fictitious name registration does NOT mean that you can use that name with no consequences.
If, for example, I registered the fictitious name or tried to incorporate as the "Ford Automobile Company" there is a very good chance that the good folks at Ford Motor Company would be able to get my filings invalidated as too confusingly similar to their already existing and in use name. This can get complicated. What if my name is "Ford"?
You really should talk to an attorney so they can get the full scope of what has happened and what you want. The consequences of not doing so could be lots of wasted time and money when you have to change your company's name or defend a trademark infringement lawsuit.
Best of luck.
Charles M. Baron agrees with this answer
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