TIA for those who can contribute helpful input on this matter. Currently I am in school for photography (my last class this spring) and over a year ago I purchased a domain name, which is basically my last name + Photography. Before I purchased, I google searched the name and I didn't get conflicting results. I've been watermarking photos as this since I feel like using my first + last name + Photography as a future business name feels just a little too long winded and a little more amateur sounding. In the past month I have felt that it is time to start developing a web presence and portfolio to get my name out there. I went to research online again for the heck of it, and now apparently a business with the same name (but different state) shows up and they've had an ongoing web presence and business. The only time they use the full business name that matches mine is on their contact page, which is why I suspect when I had went to register my domain way back when I wasn't coming up with any solid search results.
I guess what I'm trying to get at is, is it still acceptable to keep with my original plan of my last name + Photography, being that we are in separate states and will not have competing clients, or is this illegal in any way? As of right now I intend to be a sole proprietor when I begin my business. I appreciate any input on the matter.