Steps to Trademarking A Business Name

After years of working for someone else and saving money, you are finally ready to become an entrepreneur. Since your business plan is almost complete, you are now concentrating on creating a unique name for your new project.

If this scenario sounds familiar, you need to trademark your new company name in order to protect your business interest. This important process will prevent other businesses from stealing your name. Trademarking your business name is actually pretty simple. Think of it as 3 easy steps.

Step 1: Choose Your Trademark

Before you can register a trademark, you must first choose the name that will best represent your company. You should be very careful during this step. Avoid choosing a name that blatantly describes the service or product you plan to sell to customers. For example, if you plan to sell medical supplies, you shouldn’t pick “The Medical Supply Store.” The United States Patent and Trademark Office, USPTO, will only allow you to trademark a unique name. 

Instead of choosing a generic moniker, think about making up a new word of your own. Or, you can often register a common word that is not associated with your product or service offerings. Think like Apple. Fruit and technology aren't anywhere near the same, but clearly their name is working just fine.

Step 2: Conduct a Trademark Search

After selecting your perfect name, you will need to conduct a trademark search. You can easily find a free trademark search website online. However, most sites can't provide you with an exhaustive list of registered trademarks that may be too similar to your chosen name. Hiring a trademark lawyer is often a good idea. This professional can offer you expert advice and peace of mind while helping you secure your dream business name. 

Step 3: Complete an Application

Once you're sure about your selected business name, you will need to submit a trademark application to the USPTO. These forms can be downloaded online. But, like the trademark search process, you might want to hire a trademark attorney to complete the forms for you. They can be too complex to fill out well, whether you're a new entrepreneur or a seasoned business person. The application process will require you to pay a trademark registration cost. This fee usually amounts to around 300 dollars. After you submit your application to the USPTO, you will need to wait on a decision regarding your business name. This waiting period is at least a few months. 

If you’re serious about your business’s future, you should trademark your company’s name. Before obtaining an official trademark, you need to create a unique name. After developing a one of a kind mark, conduct an extensive trademark search. Thoroughly filling out a trademark application is the final step in the process. When the USPTO approves your trademark, you can watch your business take off.