Your name is your superpower. What you call yourself (personally or professionally) is your unique identifier. Your name, aka your identity, is supposed to set you apart from people/ businesses with similar names. Entrepreneurs may have already realized that it takes hard work to establish their brand and create an identity different from their competitors. How will you stand out without blending? How will you organically grow your business? As a business owner/ entrepreneur, you must establish your business owner rights and ensure that your name is one of a kind.
Scroll on to learn why you SHOULD trademark your online business, how to get started with the trademarking process, and for resources to help you get started with trademarking your business or brand today.
So, what is a trademark?
How does a trademark help my business?
It gives you a legal avenue to protect your business or brand from copycats replicating your identity. Trademarking your business name, product, or symbol can protect you and your customers from scammers looking to make a profit off of your name or products. A trademark establishes your exclusive business owner rights to use your brand’s name, symbol, or word(s) and helps you run a successful company. You will also be able to use the ® symbol next to a successfully registered trademarked name. Completing your trademark registration will make it much easier to file for trademark registration in other countries.
I have an LLC, sole proprietorship, DBA business. My brand is already protected.
That’s great that you formed your business. However, you should still decide to trademark your business or brand. A trademark is different in the sense that:
- Forming an LLC (limited liability company) only protects you from individuals using your business name/symbol in your state. It does not protect you nationally or internationally.
- DBA or doing business as; only protects you from individuals using your business name/symbol in your state. It does not protect you nationally or internationally.
- A copyright will protect original artistic and literary works. Copyrights apply to logos but usually do not apply to names.
How to Trademark Your Business
If you have decided that your business needs a trademark, here’s how you can get started today.
Remember, filling out the application is the first step. If you do not have the necessary information and documents for your application process, an attorney or lawyer can help you with this step. You should figure out what trademark class you want your business’ name or symbol recognized in before submitting your application. There are 45 trademark classes, and each trademark class covers a wide range of goods or services.
Example: If a beauty company with the name “Enchanted” wanted to register this name in the cosmetics trademark class, it could. However, if this company also produced jewelry, it might require an added listing in the jewelry trademark class.
If you are a business owner/ entrepreneur wanting to trademark the same name, symbol, or word for multiple classes, it might be a little costly. It costs a low as $250 to file a trademark application. To file for a trademarked name for multiple classes, that’s $250 for each trademark class.
Sometimes it is best to talk about things like this with your lawyer or attorney. If you are unsure about how to fill out your trademark application or if you should trademark your online business, schedule a time to consult with your attorney or lawyer. If you do not have an attorney or lawyer, I have an available online resource for you.