You spend time coming up with the perfect name for your business…only to find someone else decides to use it right after you open your company. With another business with the same or similar name in town, your customers are getting confused, and you start losing sales. It happens to many entrepreneurs, and it’s completely preventable.
There are two strategies you can use to protect your business name: registering a business name and trademarking a business name. We’ll look at both so you know which is the best fit for your company.
Registering a Business Name: Protect it in Your State
One of the reasons I’m such an advocate for forming an LLC or incorporating is that you automatically get your business name registered with the state where you file your business structure paperwork.
When you apply to be a corporation or an LLC, the Secretary of State will first check to make sure that your proposed business name isn’t already in use by another company in the state, and then your name is protected in the state: no other business will be able to form an LLC or corporation with the same name in that state.