Registration provides nationwide trademark protection, prevents others from registering a similar trademark, and creates an official record that can help deter other businesses from choosing a name similar to yours. Not every business name can be trademarked.
How do I make sure no one takes my business name?
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). Filing an application does not automatically mean your trademark will be approved.
Can I copyright my business 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. The benefit of relying on common law trademark rights is that it’s free, and you don’t need to do any specific work filling out forms, etc.
How do you legally copyright a business name?
Registering a trademark for a company name is pretty straightforward. Many businesses can file an application online in less than 90 minutes, without a lawyer’s help. The simplest way to register is on the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s Web site, www.uspto.gov.
Does an LLC protect your business name?
When you incorporate, form an LLC, or file a DBA (Doing Business As), this process registers your business name with that state’s secretary of state. … It prevents anyone else from using the name within the state, but it doesn’t offer any kind of protection in the other 49 states.
How do I protect my business name and logo?
If you want to protect your brand identity you have to register a trademark for your company name, logos, and slogans. By using the trademark symbol, you notify other people that products they use are your property. In order to prevent unauthorized use of your mark by third parties, you have to choose a strong one.
How do I know if my business name is already taken?
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.
Do I need to copyright my company name?
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.
How much does it cost to copyright a name?
The cost to trademark a name at the federal level ranges from $225 to $400 plus legal fees or $50 to $150 for a state trademark. The average cost to trademark a logo is $225 to $600 plus any legal fees.
Can you trademark your name?
Trademark law protects names, logos and other “marks” that are used in commerce. … But if—like most people—you only use your name for personal purposes, you can’t register it as a trademark. In addition, you can’t trademark your name if it is likely to be confused with other registered trademarks.
How do I protect my trademark?
The 5 Things You Must Do to Protect Your Trademark
- Do Your Homework. The USPTO won’t register your trademark if there is a “likelihood of confusion” with another registered trademark. …
- Prepare and File a Trademark Application. …
- Respond Promptly to Office Actions or Oppositions. …
- Monitor Your Trademark. …
- Maintain Your Trademark.
Should I trademark my business logo?
Anyone whose logo identifies a business or profession should seriously consider trademark protection. Once you establish your trademark, the legal mark lasts forever. Just make sure to keep up with registration renewals at the five and ten year marks.
Do I have to put LLC on my logo?
In short, the answer is no. In fact, none of your branding/marketing needs to include “LLC,” “Inc.” or “Ltd.” If it is included, this may look amateur. … Logos are an extension of a company’s trade name, so marketing departments don’t need to include legal designation.
What happens if I don’t trademark my business?
If you do not register your trademark, you will have legal rights only within the geographic areas where you operate. This means you may be able to stop a subsequent user of the mark, even if it is a bigger company, from using the mark in your geographic area only.
What is better LLC or sole proprietorship?
Most LLC owners stick with pass-through taxation, which is how sole proprietors are taxed. However, you can elect corporate tax status for your LLC if doing so will save you more money. … However, due to the combination of liability protection and tax flexibility, an LLC is often a great fit for a small business owner.