Business registration takes multiple forms. If you do not do business under your legal name, you will need to register the name of your business to sign legal contracts and accept payments in your company\’s name. This registration might be known as \”doing business as\” or an \”assumed name. \” Applying for a business license, which is handled on the state level, is often required to do business in a state. Registration might involve applying for a master business license, filing articles of incorporation or filing other paperwork. Certain types of businesses, such as daycare centers, home contractors or bed & breakfasts, are required to register and comply with licensing requirements on the state level. Many states with income and/or corporation taxes require that all new businesses register with the state department of revenue.
August 07, 2013 The longer you\’re in business, the more intellectual property your business produces, and the greater the value of that property. Things like your business name, logo, slogan and product names are how people recognize your business in the marketplace. The reputation that\’s associated with these different brand elements are why people buy from you.
For that reason, it\’s important to take steps to protect these identifiers of your brandthey\’re company assets too. Here are just a few of the main benefits of Solidify your rights to the mark nationally. PRight now you only have rights to prevent others from using the name of your business(es) where you are located and possibly places where you have many clients. So if youre not popular in New York, for example, and a New York business decides to the name of your business, they could limit your use of the name to the areas where your business currently has a presence. In doing so, Pthey Pwould get the national rights to the business name. License the use of your content and products to others to expand the reach of your work and make you more money. P For example, if you wanted to give other entrepreneurs the ability to buy a license to use your proprietary methods to work with their own clients, or wanted to license your brand name to another business, you need to secure the trademark rights first. (You could technically do it without the trademark registered, but it\’s not wise. ) Increase the value of your business and brand, so it\’s something to consider if you ever want to obtain outside capital, sell your business or leave your business to a family member.
Prevent copycats from unjustly benefiting from the brand recognition youve built up. PHaving a federally registered trademark comes with harsh penalties for would-be infringers, which serves as a big deterrent to copycats and counterfeiters. When you\’re ready to take action to protect the intellectual property in your business, I recommend hiring a lawyer to help you navigate the trademark registration process. The trademark application looks fairly straightforward, but it isnt. PA huge percentage of that get filed wind up being abandoned because business owners tried to do it themselves and then, when it got complicated, didnt know what to do next. Additionally,Pthe United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) will often issue anP,Pwhich is essentially a preliminary denial. It looks like a legal brief and cites case law and typically scares people. Depending on what the issue is that the USPTO finds, you may have to write a legal brief in response to defend your mark and try to get it through.
You definitely are not going to want to do this by yourself. P If your description didnt have a good broad/narrow balance in the original application, you wont have much to work with when it comes to making arguments and even edits to get the mark passed. Once you submit the application, you cannot add anything to the description; you can take away, but you cant add. A final word of caution: Beware online companies that offer trademark services. Many of them will only handle the initial application and after that, youre on your own dealing with the USPTO and the Examining Attorney assigned to your file. If an Office action gets issued, you\’ll have to pay them additional money if you need their help filing a response. Rachel is the business lawyer for young entrepreneurs with online-based businesses. Her practice, Rachel Rodgers Law Office, is run entirely online. She is the author ofP, a comprehensive legal resource for entrepreneurs that teaches business law with personality. P She is a member of theP,P an invite-only organization comprised of the world\’s most promising young entrepreneurs. P Read more articles on. Photo: Thinkstock