As a business owner, you want to protect your business name. Choosing the business name is one of the most important decisions you make. It conveys your image and brand in a unique way that stands out from your competitors. Once you have finally chosen the perfect name, you will want to protect it. Obtaining legal protection starts with a few very important steps. These steps are not obvious at first. Most times, people will register their business name with the Secretary of State where the business is operating. This is indeed important, and legally required. This registration fulfills your duty as a business owner, and lets the general public know who is behind the business. Most people stop here, assuming that the registration entitles them to exclusive use of the business name. However, registration alone does not establish legal rights to the business name.
To protect the ownership of your business name, there are other measures to take, most importantly obtaining a trademark or wordmark. This process requires a name which is unique enough to be accepted by authorities for trademark. In addition, it is helpful to have a legally binding agreement regarding your business name that will protect you. For example, if you are starting a business with another person, you will want to make it clear about who owns the business name and what will happen to the business name if you and your business partner go separate ways. If your business is later sold, you need to document ownership of the name.
Ultimately, protection of your business name is best done through the registration of a trademark or wordmark. This can be done both at the state and federal levels. This process can be very tedious and daunting, but invaluable in the end. Many times, business owners will benefit from legal consultation before they make the final selection of their business name. The name should be chosen not only to fit your mission and image, but also to facilitate legal protection – to make the trademark application succeed. Albertazzi Law Firm can help you legally protect your business name by assisting with business name registration, trademarks, legally binding agreements, as well as other business law issues. Please call 541-317-0231 for more information.