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I'm looking to set up a new small business. I have been researching names for weeks now and have settled on one. The company name would be the surname of a living individual in the US. The rationale for using his surname is that he has values that I think my company will have and a personal story that mirrors the company's goals.
I have emailed the guy with the surname twice just to sound him out and seek permission (unsure if I even need it) but to no avail thus far.
What is the position of using this surname as a company name without permission?
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Companies House has guidelines. Have you looked at them?
Hide in the noise. #hackerwisdom
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You may find yourself on the receiving end of this person's lawyers attentions for the purposes of "brand" or "reputation" management. You yourself have said that you wish to trade on his coat-tails.
It may depend on the name, but your post suggests that it is not common and is distinctive, which will not help you. You might find it easier to use the names Bush or Carter, for example, than Obama.
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Sorry, but is a poor idea.
Surely the same or better can be achieved in other ways.
If you begin to succeed, it will be a growing problem which will stand as a permanent threat.
See passing off et.
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