Authored by Brandon K. Johnson
A business's name is one of its most valuable assets. Protecting the company name should begin at formation. A name must convey brand identity and not be similar to any other businesses in the area or industry. Rule out names that are already in use by performing an Internet search and a search on the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office's website. You should also check to see if the name is available for use on the Internet, in the form of a URL or domain name. Once a name is chosen, then file for a state and/or federal trademark. A trademark protects words, names, symbols, and logos that distinguish goods and services. Federal trademark protection is not available for marks used purely in intrastate commerce, but those marks may be eligible for state protection. Trademarks can be filed for less than $300. Also, if the business name differs from your personal name or legal name of the entity you must register a "Doing Business As" name with the state government.