– A business name not only represents the products and services a company provides, the name also represents the goodwill and community support that you, the owner, are bringing to the public. It is important that your business name is protected from infringement and misrepresentation. It is also important that your business name be unique and, not only reflect your brand identity but also avoid infringing on other businesses that have the same or similar name as yours. The business law attorneys at San Luis Obispo’s Toews Law Group, Inc. can help you structure your business and protect your business name as well as the goodwill that goes with it.
It can be expensive to start a business and can be even more expensive to legally defend your business because the name conflicts with another. Not only are there attorney fees and court costs to consider, there will be costs for new signage, printing costs to update your new business name and logo, new bank accounts, changes to licensing, new business directory listings and loss of your company’s name recognition.
If your business name is infringed upon by another business, having already protected your name can save you legal fees as well as prevent negative publicity and loss of good will in the community.
To protect your business name:
- Select something unique
- Register the business
Toews Law Group, Inc. specializes in business law for San Luis Obispo and California businesses. Taking the time to consult with their attorneys may save valuable time and prevent costly issues over your business name and business structure.
Choosing the name
Brainstorm. Come up with several options and then check county registers and the California Secretary of State to find out if the name is already in use.
In situations where similar business names are already registered, it might be a wise decision to use an entirely different name. As an example, naming your business “John’s Auto Body,” when there is already a “John’s Auto Repair” in your community might not create the unique image you want for your business. Even a local business with a name similar to a multi-national corporation might cause legal complications down the road. For instance, just because your last name is “McDonald” does not mean you can safely name your neighborhood eatery “McDonalds Place.”
Registering the business
Protecting your business name can be done by registering a fictitious business with your county of residence as a DBA (Doing Business As) or creating a business entity with the California Secretary of State.
If you intend to do business in more than one state, you may need to create business entities in each of those states, and thus, may need to make sure there is no conflict with the business name in those states.
Forming a corporation, LLC, or other business entity can be complex and is most successful with the help of the San Luis Obispo business law experts at Toews Law Group, Inc. The attorneys are focused on providing trusted legal services for estate planning and offering assistance to businesses and nonprofit organizations.
Contact the office to schedule an appointment.