When you incorporate, form an LLC, or file a DBA (Doing Business As), this process registers your business name with that state’s secretary of state. … It prevents anyone else from using the name within the state, but it doesn’t offer any kind of protection in the other 49 states.
How do I protect the name of my business?
Trademark. A trademark can protect the name of your business, goods, and services at a national level. Trademarks prevent others in the same (or similar) industry in the United States from using your trademarked names.
Is an LLC the same as a trademark?
There are many different types of legal entities that can own a trademark. The most common that we see, and also the simplest, are LLCs and corporations. Usually, a LLC or corporation develops a mark to identify itself as a source of goods or services.
Should you put your name in your LLC?
You should always place the initials “LLC” after your business name—including placing it on your correspondence, contracts, forms, business cards, website, signs and marketing materials.
Do I need to trademark my business name?
Registering a business name is a legal obligation, if you choose to identify your business with a name that is different to the name of the legal entity that owns the business. Registering a trademark is a choice you make as part of a branding strategy for your products and services.
How do I make sure nobody steals my business name?
To be sure no one improperly uses your business’s name or branding, you need to obtain a trademark. To do so, you’ll need to file an application with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Filing an application does not automatically mean your trademark will be approved.
Can someone use my business name?
If someone uses your name, simply showing proof that you’ve trademarked the name could be enough to convince a business to choose something else. Most importantly, if you must go to court, you’ll have legal proof that you registered the name. However, you don’t have to trademark your business name to protect it.
Should my LLC own my trademark?
The party who controls the nature and quality of the goods and services used in connection with the brand should be the trademark owner. … A trademark owner can include but is not limited to individuals, partnerships, corporations, limited liability companies, sole proprietorships, trusts, estates etc.
Should you LLC or trademark first?
In many cases, a business will want to start the trademark application as soon as their LLC or corporation paperwork is filed. By filing for a trademark prior to launch, you can be sure that your name is protected once you begin commercial sales. However, there may be an even stronger reason to apply early.
What happens if someone trademarks your business name?
If the other business has a trademark, the current owner can infringe upon this legal protection by using the same company name. … If there is a trademark in place for his or her company and someone else created a new entity with the same name, this owner can pursue a legal claim and contact a lawyer for a legal remedy.
What should you not name an LLC?
Generally speaking, most states will not allow a business to: Include business entity identifiers such as “incorporated,” “corporation,” “Inc.,” “limited liability company” or “LLC” as part of the name if the business is not actually incorporated.
What should I name my LLC company?
Typically, your business’s name must end with the words “Limited Liability Company,” company” or “Limited.” Or you can use abbreviations like “LLC,” “L.L.C.,” or “Ltd.” Usually, you can even opt to abbreviate the words “Limited” and “Company” as “Ltd.” and “Co.” (Most people just stick with “LLC”.)
Can an LLC have curse words?
State and federal laws generally prohibit companies from using legally or morally offensive terms. For example, a company name should not use swear words or words that provoke indecent or pornographic thoughts. Similarly, new companies cannot use names that suggest or promote illegal activity.
How much does it cost to trademark my business name?
Filing a trademark for your business name with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) will cost between $225 and $600, plus legal fees. You can register with most states for $50-$150 if you don’t want protection outside your state.
Can two businesses have the same name?
Can Two Companies Have the Same Name? Yes, however, certain requirements must be met in order for it to not constitutes trademark infringement and to determine which party is the rightful owner of the name.
Can an LLC and corporation have the same name?
Can Two LLCs or Companies Have the Same Name? Yes, with some exceptions. When you’re forming a corporation or an LLC in a state, the name must be unique to your business within that state. Others can form LLCs and businesses in other states that have the same name as yours.