How do I protect my small business name?

Trademark. A trademark can protect the name of your business, goods, and services at a national level. Trademarks prevent others in the same (or similar) industry in the United States from using your trademarked names.

How do you secure a small business name?

Your brand is your business’s identity, so it’s important to secure it. To be sure no one improperly uses your business’s name or branding, you need to obtain a trademark. To do so, you’ll need to file an application with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

You certainly don’t have to register the copyright and trademark your company’s name or logo. In the United States, you own the copyright as soon as you put original work on a piece of paper or computer drive, and you win a trademark as soon as you use your name and logo for marketing your business.

Use the USPTO’s free trademark database.

To start, go to the USPTO’s Trademark Electronic Business Center at http://www.uspto.gov/main/trademarks.htm and choose “Search.” Then follow the instructions you see on the screen.

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What do you do if someone uses your business name?

If someone uses your name, simply showing proof that you’ve trademarked the name could be enough to convince a business to choose something else. Most importantly, if you must go to court, you’ll have legal proof that you registered the name. However, you don’t have to trademark your business name to protect it.

Can I trademark a name for free? You can not register a trademark for free. However, you can establish something known as a “common law trademark” for free, simply by opening for business.

Can two businesses have the same name?

Can Two Companies Have the Same Name? Yes, however, certain requirements must be met in order for it to not constitutes trademark infringement and to determine which party is the rightful owner of the name.

Should I get a trademark or LLC first?

In many cases, a business will want to start the trademark application as soon as their LLC or corporation paperwork is filed. By filing for a trademark prior to launch, you can be sure that your name is protected once you begin commercial sales. However, there may be an even stronger reason to apply early.

Filing a trademark for your business name with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) will cost between $225 and $600, plus legal fees. You can register with most states for $50-$150 if you don’t want protection outside your state.

Does my business name exist?

Is my business name taken? The best way to find out if your business name is taken is to do a business entity search within your state, check Federal Trademark Records, and search the web to find businesses with the same or a similar name.

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How do you hold a business name?

A business name reservation consists of a filing with the Secretary of State’s office to reserve a business name until you are ready to incorporate your business or form a Limited Liability Company. Generally, a name reservation will be effective and the name that you place on reserve will be on hold for 30-90 days.

To help entrepreneurs