I've been running under a DBA for almost 2 years. I did my checks and due diligence to make sure the name was free, at the local, state and trademark level. Right now I'm doing my articles of organization for lc, and I did one more check. Lo and behold, there is a similar name in the USTPO database. The business is quite similar as well, although it's in a different state.
I know I can still register the lc at my state level, but while browsing the USTPO, I notice many similar names and similar businesses. I'd like to keep my name, since many hours where spent in that area and I'd just fold up if I had to start over.
I know a question here doesn't constitute the proper footwork, but I'm looking for opinions before I get started.
Sunshine Consulting, or simply "Sunshine" as registered. Application design, web/portal, resource management, large project management, multiple methods/disciplines. Medium to large business player.
Would register as "Sunshine Media". Specific to web design, database management, dynamic content, music production, photography, copy write, etc. (and speaking of music, there is also a i.e Sunshine Music out there. This is BS). For the Small business. Basement html, php, css, js.
Does it sound like my business is over before it started? There are so many obvious differences. The other company is so beyond anything I could ever dream to be and stands as an authority in it's area; I am 1 person with a very narrow scope, the other is several teams in multiple offices. And why didn't this name show up 2 years ago, when it was granted trademark in like 2003? Argg..
I was thinking of this when I was filling out the articles document. I tried to be so vague and use wording that could encompass anything in the digital space, but not limited to. Re-reading it later, it sounded silly, so I started refining with web research. That's when I found this problem.
Also, is there a simple online law service that could help me with this? It's going to be months before I have time to actually go out into the daylight and visit a lawyer.