Please be aware that the issuance of a name approval by the Georgia Secretary of State does not guarantee that someone else is not already using the same or a similar name in your trade area. In such an event, that person may have superior rights to use the name under trademark law!
XYZ Printing Company is a partnership and is not incorporated. The company has been in business for several years.
XYZ Printing Company is a corporation. They fail to file an Annual Report with the Georgia Secretary of State and are administratively dissolved. However, they continue in business and are not aware of the problem. They have the right under current Georgia law to be reinstated simply by paying a $250 penalty fee within five years of administrative dissolution.
In both of the above examples, you can get approval from the Georgia Secretary of State for the exact same name. Nevertheless, the other company, under “trademark” law, can force you to change your name and stop doing business in that name. The issue can be even more complex if your name is simply similar to the other company.
Prior to filing Articles of Incorporation with the Georgia Secretary of State, we urge you to conduct a preliminary investigation for same or similar names. Some possible sources are:
- local phone listings
- regional or national phone or websites
- trade magazines & websites
- U.S. Patent & Trademark Office www.uspto.gov
- other sources applicable to the same industry
- the Internet
- Georgia Secretary of State Corporations Division
- Georgia Secretary of State Trademarks Division
If you must be absolutely sure no one else has the same name, please contact us regarding a trademark search. The best protection is obtained by registering your name as a trademark.
The Georgia Secretary of State Corporations Division has the official list of corporations in the State of Georgia. It has more ways to search for a corporate name and will let you know if a name is available. We search the Georgia Secretary of State Corporation records, as part of our service, and we warn you of similar names, or entities of the same name that have been dissolved.