How Do I Make Sure No One Takes My Business Name?

By common law, a logo is trademarked as soon as it’s used in commerce.

But, according to LegalZoom, this may only protect you in your immediate locale.

State registration will provide additional protection, and it’s relatively simple and inexpensive.

Federal logo trademark registration is a bit more of a process..

What if my business name is similar to another?

Generally, as long as no one else in your state is using that business name, you can call your company whatever you like. … That said, you can run into trademark issues if your business and another’s fall within the same category or are substantially similar.

Can I use a name for a business that already exists?

A trademarked name is protected on a national basis. If a company name already exists as a trademark, you can’t use it even if the company doesn’t operate in your state. To see if a specific company name exists and is trademarked, search for the name using the USPTO website’s electronic search system.

Can two businesses have the same name?

Because business names are registered on a state-by-state basis, the fact that a company in another state has the same name as yours is usually not a cause for concern. However, you are right in that there could be intellectual property issues (namely, trademark) when two companies have the same name.

What do you do if someone is using your business name?

Enforce Your Trade Mark Rights If someone else is using the same business name, attempt to resolve the dispute by contacting the other business and negotiating a favourable outcome. If this approach is unsuccessful, you can enforce your rights by sending a cease and desist letter.

Does LLC protect business name?

Once your LLC or corporation application is approved, your name is protected in the state: No other business will be able to form an LLC or corporation with the same name in that state. However, there’s nothing to stop a business that operates as a sole proprietorship or partnership from using your name in the state.

How do I lock my business name?

How to Register a Trademark for a Company NameTo register a trademark, go to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s Web site, www.uspto.gov.Don’t add a domain extension to your trademark to prevent others from registering the same name by adding another extension.

How do I stop someone copying my business name?

How to Protect Your Brand and What to Do If Someone Steals itProtect your unique brand name / logo. If you have a unique brand name or logo, protect it. … Make a paper trail. … Watch for trademark violations. … Keep your domain. … Trademark your new name BEFORE releasing it. … Register your new domain. … Announce the change.

How do you check if you can use a name for your business?

The quickest and easiest way to check potential name availability is to simply go to your favorite search engine (like Google) and do an online business name search. You can check this name with a .com, or .

A legal name is the name of the entity that appears on all official documents or legal papers. It can be different to your business name. … If you’re a sole trader, your legal name will most likely be your own name. Other legal names include the name of a partnership or an incorporated association.

If you are using your business name as your trademark, you can also register your business name as a trademark. Registering your trademark will give you exclusive rights to it in Canada for at least 15 years (you can renew it indefinitely as long as it is still being used).

What is the first step to starting a business?

Conduct market research. Market research will tell you if there’s an opportunity to turn your idea into a successful business. … Write your business plan. … Fund your business. … Pick your business location. … Choose a business structure. … Choose your business name. … Register your business. … Get federal and state tax IDs.More items…

Is my brand name taken?

Before you apply, you should search the USPTO’s trademark database (Trademark Electronic Search System, or TESS) to see if any trademark has already been registered or applied for that is: Similar to your trademark. Used on related products or for related services, and.

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.