How to Trademark a Business Name

How to trademark a business name

When starting your new business, you probably have a big checklist to get it running smoothly that might look something like this:

  • Save up your finances…check!
  • Research all about forming and running a business…check!
  • Establish your business entity type…check!
  • Find a location for your business offices…check!
  • Hire your first employees…check!

Is one of the next things on your list establishing a trademark for your business name? If it’s not on your current list, it should be — here’s why.

Why Do I Need a Trademark?

Coming up with a business name may be one of the most challenging tasks of starting your business. The name you choose will define your company, and we know you want to make a good choice! After all, a name can make or break a business if it’s not a great representation of the services that business provides.

Your business name should be as unique and interesting as your company and the services you provide. After all, you want your business name to stand out among the thousands and thousands of other businesses on the market.

Wouldn’t it be a shame to come up with and market your business using a certain name, only to find that someone else began using it to capitalize on your success? What if you picked a business name that was already trademarked by another company and they filed a lawsuit over it? Both these scenarios can impact your sales, cause brand confusion and take down your business — all things you do not want to have to deal with…especially in the beginning stages of your company.

The best way to protect yourself and your business is to trademark your business name. A trademark means having the legal ownership and protection rights over a design, logo, name, symbol, word, etc.

Today we’ll provide an overview on how to trademark a business name and then follow up with some resources that may assist you in the process.

How to Trademark a Business Name

Trademarking a business can become time-consuming and complicated, since you might spend a huge chunk of your time researching whether your potential business name is taken or not. That requires a lot of digging and fact checking, which you may not have the time to do on your own if you’re focusing on other aspects of starting your new business.

To help you get started, here are some steps detailing how to go about trademarking a particular business name:

  1. Do research and ensure your potential business name isn’t already taken and trademarked
  2. If it is taken, unfortunately, you will have to go back to brainstorming a new business name
  3. If it is not taken, then file for a trademark
  4. Receive legal advice throughout the process to ensure you file correctly
  5. Check that your trademark filing is accepted by the government office
  6. Once approved, begin using your business name

After filing for trademark rights, they are typically good for 7 to 20 years and are renewable indefinitely. One great thing about trademarks is that they are protected worldwide by international and intellectual property treaties. This means you are protected wherever and whenever you operate, as long as you keep up-to-date on the paperwork and file correctly to begin with.

Need Assistance With Your Business Trademark?

Establishing a trademark may seem like a pretty simple process when laid out like that, but it can be complex especially if this is your first time filing.

If you need some assistance, the good news is there are plenty of resources to help you, one of which is Incfile’s trademark name search. This service includes:

  • Consultation with a trademark specialist
  • A thorough search of existing trademarks
  • Learn about the benefits of filing a trademark
  • Legal counsel from a trademark attorney
  • Low-cost proposal to file a trademark application
  • Handling all correspondence with the USPTO until the name is approved.

All you have to do is tell your Incfile representative what you need, and your personal trademark attorney will explain the process, conduct a trademark search, provide a plan of action, file for your trademark and deliver the approved documentation.

Register Your Trademark Today

Ready to register your business’s trademark? With Incfile’s assistance, you can receive a consultation with a trademark specialist and register your trademark for only $199 plus the federal fee. Get started or learn more today!

Lisa Crocco

Lisa Crocco is a freelance writer who can be found wandering the aisles of local bookstores or the streets of different cities. Follow her on Twitter or read more of her work.