When you start a business, you want potential customers and others to be able to easily identify you and your product or services. For this reason, choosing the right business name is extremely important. Many business owners struggle with choosing a name due to the many legal and practical issues you should consider. If you name you business too hastily and without careful consideration, your business may not only suffer but you may face legal disputes, as well. The following are some tips for choosing the right legal business name for your enterprise.
Research social media pages and domain names.
In today's Internet age, the online presence of your business is imperative for maximum success. For this reason, it is important to consider how you will be able to reach the greatest number of potential clients, consumers, or collaborators. You should research existing business pages or listings on social media outlets including Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn to see if the business name you are considering will permit a unique presence or if it will be confused with other businesses. You should also check to ensure that a domain is available that will be appropriate for the hypothetical name.
Find out if the name you are considering is already trademarked.
The last thing you want to do is decide on a name for your business only to find out that the chosen name may be infringing on another person's trademark. Changing the name of your business—and potentially your entire brand identity—after some success is never a good situation, and facing a legal dispute with another business is even worse. For this reason, you should always visit the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s Trademark Electronic Search System (TESS) to search for any existing trademarks related to business names you may be considering.
Register a trademark for your business name.
One you settle on a business name that is available and will allow you to stand out online, you definitely do not want other business owners trying to misappropriate your business or brand name or possibly confusing the public by having the same name. Therefore, you always want to apply for a trademark registration with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) for your brand name. A trademark will protect your brand from infringement by other businesses. The trademark application process can be complicated, however, and not every mark is registrable or protectable. You should not hesitate to contact an experienced business attorney for assistance in obtaining a trademark for your chosen business name.
Your business brand name can be one of your most valuable assets so, once you have obtained a trademark, you want to legally protect it. An experienced business lawyer can help you put protections in place to watch for potential infringements and handle any intellectual property disputes that may arise.
Contact a Silicon Valley trademark lawyer today to schedule a consultation
If you have started a business and have any questions regarding choosing or obtaining trademark protection for your business name, please do not hesitate to call the Law Offices of Nate Kelly for help at (310) 228-6215 in Los Angeles or at (415) 336-3001 in San Francisco.
About the Author
Nate Kelly is a California attorney who has been helping businesses and individuals with a variety of legal matters since 2009. In addition to his private practice, he is also co-chair of USC Law Network, which enables him to call upon the legal expertise and acumen of over 30 lawyers in a variety of fields. With offices in both Los Angeles and San Francisco, Mr. Kelly is capable of providing quality legal counsel and representation across the state of California. To schedule an appointment with Mr. Kelly, please call our office today at 415-336-3001 (San Francisco) or 310-228-6215 (Los Angeles). Prospective clients can also send Mr. Kelly an email through our online contact form.