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Thread: what would you do??

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Southern Louisiana
    Posts
    947

    what would you do??

    as many of you know i began my own woodworking business about 7 months ago. i do primarily new residential kitchens and other cabinets for homes. i went back and forth about a business name for months before finally picking one. i chose to name the business "Cutting Edge Woodworks"...i went to the secretary of state's office to apply for my LLC name. when i applied for it there were no other similiar businesses with that name. about 4 months later a friend told me he had seen another shop with the name cutting edge cabinets, in a town about 20 min away. i didn't like the idea but i dealt with it. the bad part was he had applied for his LLC 4 days before me. that is why i didn't see his name on the list when i applied. recently when i had ordered some raised panel doors for a job, they got delivered to his shop on accident, pushing my already tight schedule back another day, which normally wouldn't be bad but the doors were already late.

    anyway, said all that to ask, what would you do? i can change the name of the company with the state, keep my same tax id number, and pay 60 bucks to change it, or just leave it be. i have yet been able to think of another name i like.

    what would you do?

    thanks
    chris

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    ozarks
    Posts
    4,992
    ride it out most shops fold in less than 2-3 yrs.....your suppliers will get it right before much longer.
    [SIZE="1"] associated with several importers and manufacturers.[/SIZE]

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Mountain Home, Arkansas
    Posts
    11,697
    Gotta disagree with Tod. Change your name. He was first and name infringement could result in you doing the lawyer thing, and losing. Don't we have somebody here who is an expert lawer in this stuff?
    "Folks is funny critters."

    Think for yourselves and let others enjoy the privilege to do so, too. ~Voltaire

  4. #4
    Only change your name if its not working for you. If you have started promoting it and getting it into peoples heads, changing it now will just cost you recognition - the only person who can gain from that is your competitor.

    Make sure that the supplier (and any others) knows who they are dealing with. When you place an order give them your zip code or whatever and make sure that the have your delivery details right. Tell them if the send the supplies to the wrong customer you will just send their cheque to the wrong supplier.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Toronto, Ontario, CANADA
    Posts
    2,332
    It's a great name! I would keep it in spite of the potential confusion.
    Cheers, Frank

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Tokiwadai, Japan
    Posts
    2,882
    Chris,

    Put yourself in the other guys shoes... How would you feel, and/or react if you had been first to register the name?

    What if his suppliers start sending his needed products to you, and that causes him delays, reputation, business and profits?

    You know about the conflict...and you know he was first. Face it and resolve the situation is my advice.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    North West Indiana
    Posts
    5,902
    Chris, I taught for two years at Union High School which was South of Union City Schools and South of me was Union County High School. Names can be confusing, can also make friendships. In this day and age of businesses going out of business to duck bills or warranties, I would keep the name to avoid confusion, and behind your name put LLC or a moniker/avitar that creates recognition for you and your shop at your location. Be unique, think outside the box. Also when ordering explain the possible confusion and tell them you yourself will sign for the order, thus if no Chris M is there, no drop off.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Southern Louisiana
    Posts
    947
    tod, that is always possible although i hope he doesn't have that misfortune

    frank, it's not infringement, we are both LLC's and it is ok to have part of you name be the same. i could not be "cutting edge cabinets" but i can be cutting edge woodoworks. there are 10 to 20 businesses that start with the same name sometimes, as long as it doesn't end that way.

    ian and frank, thanks

    greg, i understand your point, but it's not like i knew he was named that, when you go to pick your name they check an online database, i checked it before his name was there, otherwise i wouldn't be in this position. but thanks for your opinion...part of me feels that way.

    steve, i have considered that, he has a website, i may just shoot him an email first to see how he feels about the situation. he knows now i exist because they sent my doors there.

    john, as i said above we are both LLC's, i am woodworks, he is cabinets.

    i don't advertise, i work only through word of mouth right now and all my customers know me by my name and not the company name, only a couple of my suppliers actually use my business name, the others i used before i started the business so we are still on a first name basis. coming up witha logo or something might be a good idea.

    thanks everyone. i still need to think about it for awhile, it seems out of all the friends and family i have talked to i am the only one who sees a problem with it. no one else thinks i should change it.

    only time will tell.

    chris

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    North West Indiana
    Posts
    5,902
    Well take a different point of view. If ten years from now you are still successful and in business are you going to change your name if someone moves in and creates a business with a name close to yours, are you going to change? Put your energy into productive work and move on. Many better things to worry about.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Tokiwadai, Japan
    Posts
    2,882
    Chris,

    I should have added the word "Now" to my statement, "You know about the conflict...(now). I would, like others have said, at least contact the guy...You could at least keep your "conflict" on a friendly basis, and might even come up with some compromise ideas. On the other hand, if he is "not happy" with your using the same name, in the same type of business, at least you can prepare yourself better for mistakes, confusion and action he might take since he had the name, in the same business, first.

    Either way, best of luck. I've seen your work and know your reputation will prevail as a quality craftsman, doing the highest quality work.

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