Starting a new business can be overwhelming, confusing and exciting all at once. No matter the industry, all new businesses have to take care of financing, advertising, organization, ownership structure, etc.. 1 area that is ignored by most people is ensuring that the name of this business is really available.
Similar names in associated classes, distribution channels and client matter also. You are influenced by Common Law use (14 million), State Trademarks (500,000) and Federal Trademarks (two million).
Research is needed to make sure your trade name is lawfully 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 main factors research is a requirement:
* It Is Your Responsibility
It’s up to each business owner to make certain the name they’re using is not 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’s quite restricted in extent.
For example, in filing a Federal trademark, the US Patent and Trademark Office (hereafter referred to as the USPTO) does conduct a search of the Federal trademark registry, typically about 6-8 months into the procedure.
* It’s for Your Benefit
Within an ever-expanding market, the competition amongst businesses has become fiercer. Overcoming the obstacle of reaching customers is but one little step. Florida Department of State entity search Now, after that initial contact was made, how you get a consumer to buy and/or come back to you is a much bigger hurdle. Brand recognition is going to be a major advantage to you in this area.
Let’s look at it from the perspective of most customers’ buying habits – many visits to unique stores, sites, etc. in order to compare and contrast. Ensuring that your name is lawfully available means that clients won’t confuse your products/services with a different party’s products/services and so, guaranteeing that when customers look your own business up by name, they are finding you rather than your competitor.
The next question is the way to start doing it?
Preliminary research is a superb place to start but keep in mind that any free source available online is simply scratching the surface. Comprehensive research entails searching the registered and pending Federal & State trademark documents as well as US National Common-Law documents. Also, it is not exactly what you search but the way you search it. Similarities in Audio, Look or Meaning thing, so when searching preliminary blogs make certain to look for synonyms, spelling variants, word placements, etc..
Free preliminary resources:
* 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 facet to specialist firms or attorneys. But first, take advantage of the free resources which are available on the market. Next, if the name appears to be available, you are able to delve into having comprehensive research conducted. Considering that the comprehensive research proves clear, you can then determine if you wish to file for a Federal or a State trademark.
With the countless particulars confronting the new business owner, the name of this business ought to be one of the first procured details. As soon as you understand the name is lawfully available, you’ll have the ability to rest easy that you are not infringing upon anyone and that your customers know exactly who you are.