Your business’s name is a huge part of your brand. It’s the first impression your customers will have of your business, the name that will go on every account, every piece of merchandise, every signature. You need a truly unique business name that stands out and truly represents the brand you want to present.
Choosing your business name can be an exciting creative endeavor. Once you’ve settled on a name, however, you will want to get started protecting that name right away. There are a few steps you’ll need to take: selecting your business name, filing trademark applications, and creating a business entity. It’s important to take those steps in that order to truly protect your business name.
Choose Your Business Name
If you hope to trademark your business name, it will need to be unique to the industry, meaning none of your competitors have that name or a name that could be easily confused for your name. It should also make it clear what your business is. For instance, if you primarily sell scented candles, you likely don’t want to name your business Andrea’s Subs. Your business name should be something distinct that leads your customers to easily recognize your business.
If you’ve been thinking about opening a business for a while, there’s a chance you already have a business name in mind. Your IP attorney can do trademark research once you’ve selected a name to make sure the name does not already exist. This is an important step to take before filing a business entity.
Apply For a Trademark
Once you have a business name, it’s time to apply for a trademark registration. You can trademark the name of your business, as well as brand information like logos or unique identifying designs. By now, your IP attorney will already have conducted trademark research to make sure your business name can be trademarked. Next, they’ll help you file your trademark registration application so that you can protect your name from being used by competitors.
Trademark registration can take up to 12-18 months on the whole, which is why it’s a good idea to take these steps as early as possible.
Create a Business Entity
A business entity makes your business official. You create a business entity with your city or county government, whether you are a sole proprietor or a corporation. A business entity separates you as an individual from your business for tax purposes. A few types of business entities that you can file include:
- Sole proprietor
- S corporation
- Limited Liability Company (LLC)
Make sure you’ve filed your trademark application before you file your business entity paperwork. Discuss with your IP attorney which business entity is the best option for you. You will need to decide on your business name before creating your business entity, as it will be more difficult to change after that point.
Need to protect your unique business name? Garcia-Zamor can help, with over two decades of combined experience in the world of intellectual property law. Contact us today to learn more or to schedule an appointment.