Legal-Ease: What is in a name?

Lee R. Schroeder is an Ohio licensed attorney at Schroeder Law LLC in Putnam County. He limits his practice to business, real estate, estate planning and agriculture issues in northwest Ohio. He can be reached at or at 419-659-2058. This article is not intended to serve as legal advice, and specific advice should be sought from the licensed attorney of your choice based upon the specific facts and circumstances that you face.

Choosing a business name is a seemingly simple yet ultimately vital decision. The name must be “legally distinguishable,” as determined through a variety of rules and overseen in Ohio by the Ohio Secretary of State. Sometimes, additional trade names are necessary for a business. Large corporations may have federal contracts that allow exclusivity under which the states must abide. Use of personal names in business can even be required, in order to promote accountability in certain industries.

Names are important. In our region, people usually keep the personal names that their parents chose for them. Marriage or divorce can prompt name changes, and some people have legal names that are different from how people identify them in daily life.

In the business world, a name can have a huge effect on a business’s success, particularly if the name involves a retailer or product that is sold directly to consumers.

Read more about the business naming process in Lee’s article for the Lima News, “Legal-Ease: What is in a name?”

Source:, “Legal-Ease: What is in a name?”, by Lee R. Schroeder, February 25, 2017.

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