Tuesday, December 30, 2014
Should You Trademark Your Company Name?
Deciding whether or not to trademark your company name depends on a variety of factors. A trademark sets apart the origin of the word, symbol or other item it represents. Many businesses do it to protect their name from fraudulent use. So how do you know if it’s a good idea to have your company name trademarked?
If you have a large business that’s well-known, it’s a necessity. The name of your business will be worth a lot, and there’s a good chance someone will try to use it for their own benefit. For a smaller company, having your name trademarked may or may not be the best choice. One thing to consider is the cost. Though in the grand scheme of things the expense of going through the process isn’t astronomical at around a thousand dollars, your company may be working with a limited budget. In that case, it may be better to skip the cost and save your money for marketing. There are other reasons that you may want to trademark your company name. For example, if you name your company after yourself, it’s a good idea to get the name trademarked.
This provides a couple of benefits. One is that you have legal protection from someone else claiming rights to your business name, which is wise when it’s the same as your own name. Another advantage is that by having your company name trademarked, if any issues arise later, you have proof that you own the rights to it. Another reason to consider trademarking your company’s name is if you plan on registering only one trademark. It’s important to register a standard claim in this case so that it will cover any style, graphics or font that someone else may apply to try and differentiate and thereby use your business’s name.
Since your company name is what customers will be using when they contact you or when they talk to others about you, it’s the most important thing to protect. It’s especially helpful to trademark your name to protect it on the Internet. If it’s not registered, anyone can purchase it as a domain and then either charge you far more money to obtain it or set up their own site with it, benefitting from traffic that’s actually looking for you.
Jonah Engler is a full-time stock broker and entrepreneur in New York City.