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Thread: New Business trying to start in Boston... having issues with insurance

  1. #16
    Senior Member Wade Randolph's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by junehhan View Post
    Out of curiosity, is there a reason why a sedan costs more to insure than a stretch limo? I would have figured that it would be the opposite since altered vehicles are altered from factory specs and usually don't have all of the safety stuff that a traditional black car would have.
    I think insurers know that sedans are on the road more which equals more risk.

  2. #17

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    And if my research is correct, unless it is some monsterous addition, many vehicles that are popular to use(IE caddy's and town cars) are designed from the factory with almost plug and play extension kits.

  3. #18

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    Insurance premiums can be affected by the age and driving record of your driver or drivers. Do you have any issues with that?

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    Quote Originally Posted by 55fanatic View Post
    I actually checked with the Secretary of State in MA, and they saw no problems with the name when compared to Boston Coach... And once we saw the amount of similarly named companies in the State, my lawyer felt pretty confident that there would be no legal consequences down the road which is ultimately why I picked the name to match the URL
    If that is the case, that is one naive lawyer, IMO. If you are in business, you should also know that just because there is a preponderance of similarly named businesses, that doesn't mean that BostonCoach has no right to preserve what's theirs, and challenge any possible misuse. A legal clerk knows that. Likewise, a Secretary of State typically isn't responsible to make sure a name is original. Indeed, most will disclaim that registering a given name or identity does not guarantee or license the use of a name. In the end, the liability will be yours alone.
    Karl Jones

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wade Randolph View Post
    I think insurers know that sedans are on the road more which equals more risk.
    Yep... a sedan hustling ten to fifteen hours everyday brings a lot of opportunity for loss.
    Karl Jones

  6. #21
    Senior Member cvclubs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 55fanatic View Post
    I understand the risk with my name but I am ok with it. I did my research it appears there are a lot of similar named smaller companies in and around Boston(and not owned by fidelity) and my primary reason for doing so was the URL bostoncoachandlimo.com. I understand it is a risk, and if it happens I am ready to change the name. For the record the full legal name of the company is Boston Coach and Limo Company, LLC not Boston Coach and Limo

    isnt every cost cheap when you break it down to per run basis(with the exception of Fuel)? Still $15-20k per vehicle I am being told now seems obscenely high. I am new to this business but I bet I spend less than $20k on bottled water a year per vehicle.
    You understand the risks and are ok with it?! I think you dont really get how big a deal it is. If they take action against you youll be in for a world of hurt. You wont be able to defend yourself and you WILL be required to give up your name. They will make you hand over all your promo materials, website and the domain name you are so proud of. If they take you to court over it they can sue for 3x your sales in damages. Not only is having their name a legal issue but why do you want to compete with a huge company? People will have a hard time finding your small new website and any advertisements will without doubt create customer confusion (which the other company WILL claim) and you will be advertising FOR them.

    Its a stupid (i would normally never use this word when talking about someone elses company) business move to make and it WILL be costly to you when you lose your website, domain name, promo material, advertisemnts, need to change your entity name, notify creditors and insurance, lose customers during the name change and have to take all the lettering off your vehicles. What is your reasoning behing your name? Just change it now and avoid these issues.

    IDC what your lawyer says the other company will not allow you to keep the name and they will have a much larger budget and better lawyers than you. The cost will destroy you.

    Just think about it... The money you save in lawyer costs will pay for your insurance 1000x over. You keep that name and you have bigger problems.
    Nick Groat
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    Nick@BellaVitaLimos.com
    Bella Vita Limousines

  7. #22
    Senior Member cvclubs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Karl View Post
    If that is the case, that is one naive lawyer, IMO. If you are in business, you should also know that just because there is a preponderance of similarly named businesses, that doesn't mean that BostonCoach has no right to preserve what's theirs, and challenge any possible misuse. A legal clerk knows that. Likewise, a Secretary of State typically isn't responsible to make sure a name is original. Indeed, most will disclaim that registering a given name or identity does not guarantee or license the use of a name. In the end, the liability will be yours alone.
    100% correct. Change your name! We are trying to help you avoid massive problems.
    Nick Groat
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    Nick@BellaVitaLimos.com
    Bella Vita Limousines

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    55, I have to agree strongly with Tim, Karl, and Nick. I have been in this situation. I had a business (not a limo biz) several years ago that had the same name as a business in a different town that was 30 miles away from where I was. Their name was "XYZ, Inc". Mine was "XYZ of Sanford, Inc". The Secretary of State nor my lawyer saw a problem with this either. It took about 6 months before I received a letter from their lawyer. They had been in business for several years, and saw it as an infringement. Long story short - I had to change anything and everything that had that name on it. It may take them 6 months, a year, or even 2 years, but I can assure you, the chances are pretty good that you will have to end up changing everything anyway. Do yourself a huge favor, and save yourself a lot of money, and just go ahead and change it now before it becomes a problem. I would rather change it now, and not have to always worry about if, or when, it will happen. Better now than after you've had your business established for a while.
    Jerry Thomas

  9. #24
    Senior Member junehhan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Karl View Post
    Yep... a sedan hustling ten to fifteen hours everyday brings a lot of opportunity for loss.
    I guess I never saw it that way but it definately makes sense. I figured that the custom nature of alterned vehicles would be more expensive to insure. When I startup, I will probably be lucky to initially break even since I will be starting with a client base of zero. That would be my hope to have a sedan hustling(I love your use of that word!) 10 to 15 hours per day.
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    Boston coach is a primaraly airport and corporate company.If your doing a lot of limousine work I doubt they would see you as a competitor.Also as long as your name is technicaly different that shouldnt be a problem.You will have great dificulty getting cheap insurance in massachusetts,the quote you were given may be the best you can do.My company is in vermont yet still our insurance only alows us to do less than 10% of our business in mass because mass regulations are so strictk

  11. #26
    Senior Member cvclubs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by edwinslimo View Post
    Boston coach is a primaraly airport and corporate company.If your doing a lot of limousine work I doubt they would see you as a competitor.Also as long as your name is technicaly different that shouldnt be a problem.You will have great dificulty getting cheap insurance in massachusetts,the quote you were given may be the best you can do.My company is in vermont yet still our insurance only alows us to do less than 10% of our business in mass because mass regulations are so strictk
    That's not true at all. Just because it is technically a little different does not solve any problem. As long as it is the same industry and the name is enough to cause "customer confusion" or to soil the goodwill and reputation of their company then there is a lawsuit.. His name inckudes Boston Coach in its entirety. They are a limo service in the exact same area. You tell me if there's honestly no confusion there.

    They will not let that slide I guarantee that 100%. To think otherwise is outright idiotic (again a statement and word I almost never use).

    The second they find this thread or hear about this there will be a problem. I'm not trying to get in other peoples business or come off as an asshole but I am trying to help you avoid a complication that CJ lead to your failure. It's a simple solution especially at this point.
    Last edited by cvclubs; November 24th, 2011 at 07:21 AM.
    Nick Groat
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    Nick@BellaVitaLimos.com
    Bella Vita Limousines

  12. #27
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    I have to agree, change your name. If the price of insurance is choking you right now think about how much a lawsuit would cost you. Boston Coach has lawyers on staff that have to justify their being, don't have that reason be you. Years ago I worked for a small family owned business a national TV network was changing their logo it was very similar to the company that I was working for, this network made a business decision to ask if we had a problem with them using it before going down that road. They did not want some small company filing a lawsuit against them over the logo. We did not have a problem with it. Just smart business practice for them to ask.
    I want to die while asleep like my grandfather,
    not screaming in terror like the passengers in his car.

  13. #28
    Senior Member Greg K's Avatar
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    It is hard to appreciate how much of a hornets nest it can be until you have gone through a lawsuit over something such as a name, copyright, trademark. You can be 100% in the right and still loose if they have a great legal team and you can't afford one. Also even if you are proven right, that can eat up a lot of money and time before it is over.

    If you are sure that you are ok with it, get it in writing from them that they have no problem with it. If you are forced to change your company name, how easy and quickly can you get that updated on all your permits/licenses/insurance so if ordered on Tuesday to give up the name, you can still do your weekend of runs Friday?

    -Greg

  14. #29

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    Wow, a lot of replies! Ok taking all of your replies in to consideration I guess I really do need to change the business name. The lawyer I used was a family member who specializes in real estate and was working gratis. He did say it was a possibility but suspected with so many similarly named companies, it wouldn't be as bad as you all are making it out to be.Having said that... My new estimates of insurance rates being priced 15-20k a year put me at a disadvantage as most of the agents I spoke to said rates were between 8-10k for newer businesses and 5-7k for existing businesses.I have no formal experience and do not have a clean driving record, the same Yukon under progressive(personal) was costing me $1000 per year. Not an obscene price tag. This rate seems to be obscene and enough to keep me from wanting to enter the market as my money might be better invested elsewhere. So for the time being, I am going to see about other insurance providers, and then worry about the name, but if I do continue, the name will be changing as I was not aware it was as severe as it was :-/

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    I'm getting ready to place a Yukon XL Denali or Suburban on the road and I went through a broker and my quote is around 3800 a year and this is on a million dollars. I'm in the Atlanta metro area, so probably cheaper than up north.

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