Starting a new business can be overwhelming, exciting and confusing all at once. Whatever the industry, all new businesses have to deal with financing, advertising, organization, ownership structure, etc.. 1 area that is ignored by many is ensuring that the name of the business is truly available.
Similar names thing, if closure in sound, appearance or meaning. Similar names in associated classes, distribution channels and customer matter also.
Research is required to create sure your trade name is legally available and it’s best to do so before: opening, growth, incorporation or designing your own logo. After all, why put in all that time, energy & money into a name that is already owned by another party?
Here are the two most important reasons research is a requirement:
* It’s Your Responsibility
It’s up to each business owner to make certain the name they’re using isn’t infringing upon the other’s Federal or State trademark in addition to any previous Common-Law rights. Though some governmental bureaus (e.g. County Clerks,” Secretary of States, the US Patent and Trademark Office) will conduct their own research, it is rather limited in extent.
* It’s for Your Advantage
Within an ever-expanding market, the competition amongst businesses is becoming fiercer. Overcoming the barrier of reaching consumers is but one small step. Now, once that initial contact has been made, the best way to get a consumer to buy and/or come back to you is a bigger hurdle. Brand recognition is going to be a major advantage to you in this region.
Let us examine it from the perspective of most consumers’ buying habits – many visits to unique stores, websites, etc. to be able to compare and contrast. Ensuring that your name is legally available means that customers won’t confuse your products/services with a different party’s products/services and so, guaranteeing that if clients look your business up by name, they are finding you rather than your competitor.
So, we’ve demonstrated that comprehensive research of your business name is a necessity. The next question is how to go about doing it?
Preliminary research is a superb place to begin but remember that any free resource available on the internet is simply scratching the surface. Comprehensive research entails searching the pending and registered Federal & State trademark files as well as US National Common-Law files. Florida business entity search Additionally, it’s not exactly what you search but how you search it. Similarities in Sound, Appearance or Meaning matter, so when searching preliminary sites be sure to look for synonyms, spelling variations, word placements, etc..
Free preliminary sources:
* Your County Clerk – may have an Internet searchable database
* Your Secretary of State – might have an online searchable database
* USPTO – go to the TRADEMARKS segment
* Search Engines
* Domain Name Databases
It’s best to leave the comprehensive research aspect to professional firms or lawyers. But first, make the most of the free resources which are out there. Then, when the name seems to be available, you are able to delve into using comprehensive research ran. Considering that the comprehensive research proves clear, after that you can determine if you want to file for a Federal or a State trademark.
With the countless details facing the new business owner, the name of the business ought to be among the first secured details. As soon as you know the name is lawfully available, you will be able to rest easy that you’re not infringing upon anyone and your customers know precisely who you are.