Some aspects of starting a nonprofit are similar to starting a for-profit business, but nuances exist. How to Incorporate a Nonprofit Organization can be confusing and complicated and it can be helpful to have a checklist of what you should address to incorporate a business as a Nonprofit Organization. Before I go any further, let's first chat about what being a nonprofit business means. The information that I'm about to provide you in this article on How to Incorporate a Nonprofit Organization is not intended as legal, tax, or financial advice. It's for general knowledge purposes to give [...]
Every now and then a trademark application case hits the headlines that makes you cringe at its arrogance (Apple’s fight to stop any sort of apple symbol being used in a logo) or just makes you laugh (Taylor Swift attempting to trademark the phrase “this sick beat”). And then there’s the outright scary—Facebook wanting to stop any business name from using the word “face.” These are extreme examples, but because brand recognition plays such a vital role in today’s business world, companies have become very aggressive when it comes to protecting their names and identities. So, what are [...]
Establishing an online brand is essential. A brand, according to the American Marketing Association, is a “name, term, design, symbol, or any other feature that identifies one seller’s good or service as distinct from those of other sellers.” Ranchers put a hot iron on their cattle to affix a unique symbol—their brand. From a marketing perspective, the idea of a brand is much broader. Your brand is your identity and is the underpinning of your business. Creating Your Online Brand Recognize That a Brand Means Money A brand is a type of intellectual property that can have significant [...]
What is a trademark? A trademark is a word, phrase, symbol, or design (such as a business name or logo) that identifies the source of a product or service and distinguishes a brand from its competitors. Trademarks give owners of their marks protection from other businesses in the U.S. using those marks. Preventing confusion in the marketplace is the primary purpose of trademarks. To obtain a trademark, you must file an application with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). The Details: What is a Trademark? If you're still asking "what is a trademark?" read on for more [...]
As an entrepreneur, my business name is my greatest asset. I have invested countless hours promoting my business. I have untold articles hoping people respond favorably when they hear the word "CorpNet." I have traveled across the United States, away from my husband and children, promoting my business name and its products and services. Thus, preventing others from using or "stealing" my brand name is of utmost importance to me. And, the quest to protect a business name should be important to you. Registering a Business Name Offers No Protection After speaking with several other entrepreneurs, I have [...]
Registering a trademark can feel like a massive undertaking, but it doesn't have to be daunting. We'd like to get you pointed in the right direction, so let's run through some common questions we receive on trademark registrations. What is a trademark? A trademark is a word, phrase, symbol or design (or a combination of any of these) that identifies the source of a product or service and distinguishes it from competitors. What can be trademarked? Trademark registration can be granted on distinctive names, logos and slogans. You might want to seek a trademark for a product name, [...]
As the kids are back to school and studying new things, it’s also a wonderful time to revisit some basic elements of business. Whether you’re starting a business or are already running your company, knowing the difference between a copyright and a trademark is one of the fundamental “must knows” every entrepreneur should understand. So, what is the difference between a copyright and a trademark? Let the learning begin! Copyright A Copyright protects works you’ve created, such as: research, photos, blog posts, books, articles, music, art, website content, computer code, and other forms of expression. As soon as you [...]
What’s in a name? More than you might realize when it comes to choosing one for your business! Aside from the obvious must haves of grabbing customers’ attention and being memorable, a business name must also be available to use—and protected. Selecting a name for your company is only the first step in the process. You also have to determine that no one else is already using the name by performing a name search. Then register your business name, so you can legally use it and so other businesses don’t try to claim it as their own. Imagine [...]
So you have an idea and want to get that business off the ground - congratulations!! When planning the steps to start your business, there are some legal aspects you don’t want to overlook. These steps may not be the most glamorous parts of starting a business, but you want to make sure the business is set up properly from the start to avoid issues down the road. Here are my must-do steps to legally start a business followed by a special offer on CorpNet.com services: 1. Choose a Business Name Have an ideal name in mind for [...]
One of the most valuable assets your business will ever have is its name. Your business name is more than what your company is called—it represents your brand’s identity and it’s a way for you to distinguish yourself from your competition. With your business name carrying that much weight, it makes sense to protect it. As you start your business, consider these two approaches to prevent other companies from using your name and confusing your customers: Business Name Registration If you form an LLC or apply to incorporate a business in a state, your business name is automatically [...]
Now that you’ve started your business, it’s time to protect your new business name, both in the state where you do business as well as every other state in the US. How can you do that? A trademark is a great place to start.
If you’re interested in protecting your intellectual property, you’ve probably come across information on trademarks and copyrights, but maybe aren’t sure which you need. This post will break them down to help you make the right decision for your needs.
I get asked a lot: does incorporating my business automatically trademark it? The fact is: being incorporated keeps anyone else in your state from using the name, but it doesn’t protect that name in the other 49 states. For that, you need a federal trademark.
6 Things You Should Know About Trademarks
Your company’s intellectual property—from your logo to trade secrets—can be just as valuable as physical assets. This is particularly true for digital startups. Yet, taking the necessary legal steps to protect your intellectual property can be costly and time-consuming, often burdening a young business before it gets off the ground. It’s a delicate balance to determine what actions to take and when, but the following is a primer on the various types of intellectual property.
Do you ever wonder what will prevent another company from using your business name? How about if you’re legally permitted to use the name you picked for your business? Or do you know when you can use the TM symbol with your brand or product name? Assembled here are all the answers to the most frequently asked questions when it comes to trademarking. If you’re a small business owner, read on to learn more about the trademark, and most importantly, if you need one for your business.
Over the course of my career, I’ve helped over hundreds of thousands of small business owners incorporate a business or form and LLC. But I’ve also found there can be just as many questions after incorporating a business or forming an LLC. In this post, I’ve put together some of the more commonly asked questions to help you navigate life after the incorporation or LLC formation process.
Just as important as filing for a Trademark on our businesses, it is crucial to remind ourselves what is trademark-able about the ‘us.’
In today’s world, where so much depends on being found online, you need every edge you can get. And one of those edges today is brand. As you will see below, it takes time to build brand signals, so that's why I recommend you begin from day one.
What's in a name? Selecting the right business name for your company is important — and it should be followed by taking the right legal steps to make sure the name is yours to use for years, and decades, to come. A prudent approach to naming entails three important steps: brainstorming, investigation and registration.