Knowing how to protect your business name is one of the very important things to put in place in your business life. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out how important business names are, because it signifies your business reputation. That is, how your customers know you.
Your customers can be brought to a state of confusion, if a competitor who offers similar products or services as yours, sets up a business that has a name so similar with yours. This can cause you to lose your potential customers, and instead of a boom, your business may witness a regression. Make sure to monitor your business name on the Internet to avoid any misuse of your name.
Fortunately, there are some very important steps you could follow to help put your business on the safer side. In this article you will find good advice on how to protect your business name.
Protecting your business name in your country
You should choose a limited liability company or a corporation as your business entity. These types of companies are the best ways to get your business name protected.
The filling agency in your country will never make it possible for two business entities to have the same name. Some countries does not allow businesses to use names that are way too similar to one another. Due to the effectiveness of this rule, you are able to “claim” your business name in your country by forming a LLC or incorporating your business name, thereby preventing other business entities from using it.
You can contact the agency handling business fillings to check your business name availability. In many countries it is not possible to search for available business names online.
Most countries allow you to reserve a business name, if you are planning to set up a formal business entity.
Trademark your business name
- Your business name must be unique to you alone; that is, it must not be similar with other business names, thereby causing confusion.
- Though you can acquire a trademark for a business name just by using it, but registering your name with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office guarantees you more protection.
This registration protects your trademark nationwide, disallows others from registering trademarks that are similar and it creates an official record that can help you prevent other businesses from selecting a name that is similar to yours.
An important note on how to protect your business name is that not all business names can be registered as a trademark. Names that are too generic or descriptive cannot be registered as trademark; for example, “Best Hotdog Joint” will not be allowed as a trademark and it will be problematic for you to use trademark law to hinder other business entities from using your name.
How to protect your business name on domains
By registering your business name as a domain name, you can protect your business name online. A domain name serves as a mean through which your business is recognized online. Getting a domain name registered for your business name helps a great deal to protect your business name.
Even if you are not planning to set up a website immediately, getting a domain name registered in your company’s name will help you get an internet name that matches your “offline” business name, and will be available to you alone when you need it.
It is however diffecult fully to prevent other business entities from using your business name as a domain. That would require registering thousands of domain names to cover all the domain name endings. You should consider to monitor your business name, to be sure that you are aware if another entity register your business name as a domain name.
Monitoring your business name does not totally prevent your business name from getting misused by another entity in other ways. It is very important to keep your business name protected, because it is the foundation on which the business stands. Registering social media accounts under your business name will also give an additional security. If you notice anyone using your business name, you should contact a lawyer to know the next steps to take.
After reading this article, I hope that you now have a better view on how to protect your business name.
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