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Registering a Trademark for Your LLC Business Name: 4 Things to Consider

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So, you’ve started an LLC and you want to register a trademark for your business name. Before you dive in and file for a trademark, there are a few things you should consider. In this blog post, we’ll cover what a trademark is, what you can register a trademark for, the benefits of registering a trademark, and the process for registering a trademark.

What is a Trademark?

A trademark is a word, phrase, symbol, or design that identifies and distinguishes the source of the goods of one company from those of others. A service mark is a type of trademark that identifies and distinguishes the source of a service rather than a product. You can register trademarks and service marks with the USPTO.

What Can I Register a Trademark For?

You can register a trademark for anything that is used to identify and distinguish your goods or services. This includes words, phrases, symbols, designs, logos, sounds, smells, colors, and product packaging.

The Benefits of Registering Your Trademark

There are several benefits to registering your trademark including:

  • The ability to sue for infringement in federal court.
  • The presumption that you own the mark nationwide.
  • The ability to use ® in connection with your mark.
  • The ability to record your U.S. registration with customs authorities to prevent imported goods from infringing your mark.
  • You will have exclusive rights to use your mark on or in connection with the goods/services listed in your registration.
  • Others will be prevented from using confusingly similar marks if it would damage your business.

How Do I Register My Trademark?

Registering your trademark is not required but it is recommended. It offers stronger legal protection than common law rights. You can register online or through mail/fax with the USPTO.

To register online, you will need to provide the following:

  • A completed application form (TEAS).
  • Your fee ($275-$325 per class of goods/services).
  • A non-refundable deposit consisting of 1 specimen per class for each good/service identified in the application OR 2 specimens per class if specimens are not available for all goods/services (specimens show how you are actually using the mark on or in connection with the sale of goods or rendering of services). Specimens may include tags or labels; packaging; advertisements; photographs; website printouts;components; instructions; brochures; flyers.
  • An executed declaration (if filing TEAS RF) OR
  • A Power of Attorney form if someone else will be corresponding with us on your behalf (not required if filing electronically).

Once you have all these items ready, you can begin the online application process here: www.uspto.gov/trademarks-application-process/applying-online. The whole process takes about 6 months on average but it could be faster or take longer depending on how many office actions are involved.

If you decide to file by mail or fax instead, forms and instructions can be found here: www.uspto.gov/trademarks-application-process/filing-traditional-application. Mailing addresses and fax numbers can be found here: www.uspto.gov/contact/office-locations. Keep in mind that registering your trademark is only the first step. You also need to actively police your mark by monitoring compliance and taking action against infringers.

Or, you can hire a firm to help  you with trademark registration and monitoring. We’d suggest our partner firm, Trademarkings.  They can assist you with every step of the process.  You can also get a $50 discount using the coupon code BA50 at checkout.   You can find them online here.

Conclusion:

Deciding whether or not to register your LLC business name as a trademark is not a decision to be made lightly. There are many things to consider including what a trademark is, what you can register one for, the benefits of registration, and how do to go about registering one. However, if you do decide that registration is right for your business, remember that it’s only the first step. You also need to actively police your mark by monitoring compliance and taking action against infringers.

About Author

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Rick Mak

Rick Mak is a 30-year veteran businessman, having started, bought, and/or sold more than a dozen companies. He has bachelor's degrees in International Business, Finance, and Economics, with masters in both Entrepreneurship and International Law. He has spoken at hundreds of conferences around the world during his career on entrepreneurship, international tax law, asset protection, and company structure. Business Anywhere Editorial Guidelines

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