A new business name can be one of the most important decisions you make. It’s a reflection of who you are and how you want to be seen in your community. But it’s also much more than that: Your business name is also an integral part of your brand identity, which means it can affect how people think about not just your company but also its products or services. So if you’re considering filing for a trademark application on your company’s name (or its logo), it’s important to consider whether or not this could affect future growth plans, as well as any potential legal issues that may arise down the road.
Can I trademark my business name?
A trademark is a word, phrase, symbol, or design, or a combination of words, phrases, symbols and/or designs used by a person to identify and distinguish his goods/services from those manufactured or provided by others.
You can trademark your business name if it is not already in use. The registration must be based on an existing mark that has been used in commerce before you apply for trademark registration.
The application must include:
- A completed application form (Form SS-4) filed with U.S. Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO). The filing fee for this form is $225; however there are several discounts available such as one time fees or “rapid track” fees depending on the type of filing being made. You can find more information here: https://www1-uspto-gov/forms/. Please note that this website may be difficult to navigate due to its outdated look/feel (it hasn’t changed since 1995!). If you have any questions about which discount(s) apply to your situation please contact [email protected]
When should I file a trademark application?
Trademarking your business name is an important step in the development of your brand. However, it’s not something you should rush into. It’s best to wait until you have a few important things in place:
- A logo design (this doesn’t necessarily have to be finalized yet)
- A website that showcases who you are and what your business does
- Products or services that people actually buy from you (or at least put on pre-order)
- A social media presence with followers willing to #shoutyourbrand
How do I determine if the name is available for trademark?
You can search the USPTO database to see if a name is available for trademarks. If you have an idea for a name that you think is unique, the first thing you should do is check whether it has already been registered by someone else. This can save you a lot of time and money later on if someone has already claimed your business name as theirs.
To check whether a particular word or phrase has been used as part of an existing trademark, go to uspto.gov/trademarks-application-process/searching-registering-trademarkdiscoverability/. There are several options in their search engine:
- Trademark Application Database
- Registered Trademarks Database
- Pending Trademarks Database
- Cancelled & Abandoned Trademarks Database (with images)
What other factors should I consider before selecting a business name?
- Is your business name easy to pronounce and spell?
This is a basic consideration for any business name, but it’s one that many people neglect. If you’re not sure how people will say or spell your business’ name, ask a few friends who aren’t from your country of origin and whose first language isn’t English (if you’re unsure). You can also hire a professional copywriter to help with this step.
- Is it distinctive?
Your company’s brand should be unique so that people can recognize it on the market without having seen or heard about it before—otherwise, there would be no point in choosing an original trademark! But don’t go overboard: if you end up making up words like “Fantastica” (which was actually used as a trademarked product) or misspell common ones like “Pa” (instead of “Co”) then there might be legal problems down the road
Do I want to use my mark in interstate commerce?
One of the most important factors to consider when determining whether or not you should trademark your business name is how far you plan to go with it. Do you want your mark to be used in interstate commerce? Or are you planning on keeping things local?
If the answer is yes, then congratulations! You’re probably going to need a federal trademark application. But if it’s no, then we definitely recommend looking into protecting your intellectual property through another means, like copyright law.
How do I know if my business name is already in use by another company – and that the name might infringe on an existing trademark?
When you’re considering how to trademark your business name, one of the first things you should do is check if that name is already in use by a different company. If so, then it might be too similar to their trademark and infringe on their rights.
So how do you know if your potential business name has already been taken? Fortunately, there are some quick ways to check this.
First, search the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) website for yourself. The USPTO has a tool that allows you to search for existing trademarks by company or product name – which means that even if someone else owns the rights to “Petal Pusher Studio” as their logo or brand name, they might not own “Petal Pusher Studio” as a standalone product description (like what we use here). So don’t worry about being entirely original – just make sure no one else owns “Petal Pusher Studio” first!
Is there anything else I should consider about my business name before applying for a trademark?
- Check to see if the name is available. This can be done by searching the USPTO’s Trademark Electronic Search System (TESS).
- Check to see if the name is in use by another company. This can be done on TESS or through a U.S. trademark attorney, who will do a comprehensive search for you and help you file for registration of your mark with the USPTO.
- Make sure that no government agency has already claimed your business name as its own, since this could complicate your trademarking efforts or even prevent you from being able to register it at all—and it’s definitely not worth making enemies over something as trivial as this!
- Finally, check whether any non-profit organizations are using your desired business name; if they are and they’re currently registered with an active certificate of incorporation, then chances are good that they’ll object to any attempts at rebranding (and may even have first dibs on any trademarks associated with said rebranding).
If you are filing a trademark, make sure you check to see if the name is available beforehand.
If you apply for trademark, make sure you check to see if the name is available beforehand. You can do this through the USPTO website and also by contacting other organizations that offer similar services. If you find out that someone else has already registered your business name as part of their own business trademarks, it would be in your best interest to choose another one. Doing so will help prevent any future conflict between yourself and another person or company who owns rights over the same mark as yours.
If you’re looking to trademark your business name, it’s important to understand the various factors that can affect your ability to do so. If your name is not available for registration, or if another entity has a trademark on a similar mark, you may need to change your branding strategy or even rebrand entirely. It is also important to consider all of these issues before filing any application with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), because once an application is submitted there is no going back!