A Beginning Business Needs To Secure And Protect The Business Name.
Your business name is a valuable asset.
In a previous post we discussed a checklist of 29 steps when starting your Business. This topic
was number 1. Select and Protect your Business Name
Finding a good business name is the subject of many business start-up help sites. For ideas about the business name, read about some of the other business name choices in your industry. For another good source of guidelines and practical advice, go to the Small Business Administration web site.
However a business comes by its name, it is critical to research to be sure that the name is not in use by someone else. Look first at the County Clerk listings in the County where the business will be located. Enter the prospective business name on an online search page and research any registered local uses of the name.
There can be a lot of trouble if you do not research a business name to
be sure no one else is using it. There can be fines and legal action,
which end up in costing money and forcing the business to pick a new
name. Be prepared to use the internet to make sure no one else is
using the name you pick. A good way to do this is to check the name on
several search sites like Google. Check out the search sites that are most likely to contain active firms with your prospective business name, like Dunn and Bradstreet and the Yellow Pages.
Unless the business name you choose includes the actual name of the individual
owner, it must be registered. Go to the Clerk’s office in the County
where the business is located to file the DBA (Doing Business As) or
fictitious business name statement. You will have to publish the business name
in an announcement in a local newspaper and the filing must be renewed
periodically. Filing a DBA is just the first step in protecting the business name.
Many businesses will file a trademark as additional protection.
Another consideration is choosing a business name that lends itself easily to a Domain Name if you are considering marketing on-line. Check out this FREE business name creator, BizNameWiz.
This website by the United States Patent and Trademark Office contains information regarding Trademarks and Business Names.
A private attorney may save you from future costly legal problems by conducting a
comprehensive search of federal registrations, state registrations, and other unregistered trademarks.
The business name is so important that some companies are always
looking to make sure it is not being used somewhere else. If it is being used be someone, then an attorney may be required to take legal action.