The five times small businesses were forced to change name – or face legal proceedings

(2) Zara vs. Zara Countrywear

As covered by our sister title Business Advice, a British small retailer put itself in the crosshairs of one of the world’s biggest fashion empires – Zara.

After opening her shop in 2007, and naming it after her daughter, Donna Dobson received a 40-page legal document through the post from Zara’s lawyers stipulating the had to change both change the name of her firm and withdraw its website and Facebook page.

To top it all off, Zara, which is owned by Inditex and posted net sales of €13.6bn during 2015, sent Dobson a bill of £800 to cover legal fees. Zara is also threatening to sue Zara Countrywear for a share of its profits.

Explaining the predicament, Dobson said: “As distraught and upset as I was about the injustice of it, I had no choice. I’m a sole trader and if I’d tried to fight the case and didn’t win, I could have lost not only my business but also my farm.”

Dobson took the decision to rename her business Fox & Field, and continues to stock walking boots, tweed jackets and clothing from independent British and Irish brands.

The legal proceedings came at the end of a torrid period for Dobson, who had thousands of pounds worth of stock stolen a few weeks previously.

Her warning for other small business owners was to watch out for “corporate giants”, who she doesn’t believe should be able to “stamp” on the local enterprises Britain was built on.

Keep reading to find out which tech giant singled out an Australian company.

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