But when a rival sets up a commercial enterprise with a name that ’ second like or identical to yours, your customers can become confuse, you can lose commercial enterprise, and your repute may suffer .
fortunately, there are steps you can take now that will help ensure that your good name will stay that means .
Protecting Your Name in Your Home State
Reading: How to Protect Your Business Name
One of the best ways to protect your business identify in your home express is to form a business entity such as a pot or a circumscribed liability party .
Your state ’ randomness business filing agency won ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate let two occupation entities have the like name. In some states, business entities besides can ’ t have names that are deceptively similar to one another. Because of this predominate, incorporating or forming an LLC allows you to “ title ” your name in your home department of state and prevent other business entities from using it .
You can check occupation identify handiness in your state by contacting the state agency that handles business filings. many states allow you to search occupation names online .
If you plan to form a formal business entity but aren ’ triiodothyronine fix to do it right away, about all states allow you to reserve a business identify. different states allow reservations for different amounts of meter .
The auspices you receive when you form a business entity does have limits : your name won ’ metric ton be protected outside your home state and an individual or business can still use your commercial enterprise name without setting up a ball business entity .
Filing a DBA or Registering a Business Name
Can you protect your occupation name without forming a corporation or an LLC ?
Sole proprietorships and partnerships often use a business identify that ’ second different than the commercial enterprise owner ’ mho name. For case, person named Bill Rogers might have a business called Clean Sweep Chimney Service. Corporations and LLCs besides sometimes have one official name and another identify that they use for their business. clean Sweep LLC might have a shop called The Chimney Store, for example .
These unofficial business names are known as trade names, assumed business names, or DBAs ( for “ doing business as ” ). If you have a DBA, you may be required to register it with your county or express, depending on which state of matter your business is in. Some states and localities require DBA filings, while in others it is optional .
Registering a DBA lets people know who owns your clientele. It besides creates a populace record of your manipulation of your business name and can discourage competitors from choosing a similar name. If your DBA is registered with the state as a trade name, other businesses may be prohibited from using that name, just as they would be prohibited from using a courtly business entity ’ randomness name.
Trademark a Business Name
To be eligible for auspices as a hallmark, your business name must meet two criteria : it must be classifiable and it must not create a likelihood of confusion with early file trademarks. You acquire a trademark in a business name by simply using it, but you can obtain much stronger security by registering your identify with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office .
Registration provides nationally trademark protection, prevents others from registering a like trademark, and creates an official record that can help deter early businesses from choosing a name similar to yours .
not every business diagnose can be trademarked. Generic or descriptive names are not eligible for brand protection, so if your business is named “ Fort Lauderdale Beach Rentals ” or “ Quality Carpet Cleaning, ” you won ’ t be able to register a trademark and it will be difficult to use hallmark laws to prevent others from using your name .
Copyrighting a Business Name
Copyrights protect master works of authorship. Names, including business names, are not considered works of writing and are not eligible for copyright protection .
You can protect your business name on-line by registering it as a domain name. A sphere name is the Internet address you type into your Internet browser, and you can purchase a knowledge domain name from a company that provides domain registration services .
even if you don ’ thymine plan to create a web site right away, registering a sphere name will ensure that the Internet address that matches your occupation name will be available when you need it .
If you want to make indisputable that no early commercial enterprise uses your business name in its knowledge domain name, consider registering multiple sphere names to encompass all the park world diagnose extensions. For exercise, if your business is called “ Aloha, ” you might register “ aloha.com, ” “ aloha.net ” and “ aloha.info. ”
Registering a knowledge domain name prevents another commercial enterprise from using that knowledge domain name, but it does not prevent another business from using your commercial enterprise ’ second appoint in other ways. In addition to the sphere name, consider registering social media accounts under your business name to prevent person else from establishing a Facebook page or Twitter account with your business name .
When it comes to protecting your occupation name, it pays to be proactive. Taking steps now to register your name locally, in your state, and nationally will help protect you from unauthorized use that can harm your business. And if you do suspect that another business is using your name, it ’ s a good theme to consult a lawyer to evaluate your options .
Planning a business in your home express ? Check if your business appoint is available or reserve it until you ’ re ready to set up your company. If you plan to take your business nationally, originate with a trademark research to make certain your name is available .