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Protecting the name of a family business

June 18, 2010
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Q. For three generations, Carroll Carpet Cleaners has been well known for its in-home and in-store services throughout southern New Hampshire and the Merrimack Valley of Massachusetts. Young Carl Carroll wants to make his own fortune, and so after five years working for his father, he decides to leave and set up his own business. He buys a panel truck, stocks it with tools of the trade, selects a business logo, registers his trade name with the New Hampshire secretary of state and makes equivalent business name certificate filings in Massachusetts. The name that Carl has selected? Carroll Carpet Cleaners.

Carl tells his family that they never bothered to register Carroll Carpet Cleaners and that he is free to use his own name with his new business. The family is furious and wants to know, can Carl really get away with this? From the New Hampshire Business Review.

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