We have 2 separate companies in different locations, each with its own website and distinct URL. Currently, both companies offer the same products and services, but that may change in the future. Due to certain requirements, we are unable to combine these sites into one website. We have tried our best to make the content of each site unique (to avoid being considered duplicate content), but the structure of both sites is similar (same pages, similar headings, similar sections on each page, etc.) and certain small sections of content are basically the same. On each page there is only one link to the other site.
We are currently using shared hosting through two different hosting companies but it would be easier and more cost-effective to combine both sites into one hosting account. Given that the sites are similar, would using one hosting account (shared hosting) for both websites be an issue from an SEO perspective? Our concern is that since the IP addresses will be the same, search engines may evaluate both sites differently and determine that the content is too similar and consider it to be duplicate content. Any advice on how best to structure and host these websites is greatly appreciated.