Planning to start a business in 2019? Here’s the good news: preparing now will help to put you and your new company on the right track to success. Great idea? Check. Detailed business plan that objectively measures where you’ll take the company in the short and long-term? Check. Plans to incorporate the business to legitimize your company? Another check! These are all standard to-dos for any entrepreneur starting up a business. Where else should you focus your attention? Before launching your business, don’t forget to take care of the following legal areas.
Conduct a name search and register your trademark
Does your business have an original name, logo or phrase? Do you plan to use it to identify your brand? If your answer is yes, it’s time to do a little homework. Never assume that your ideas were the first ever created in business. Conduct a name search before you apply to register your trademark.
There are a few ways you can conduct the search. The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) provides the ability to search through a trademark database. The system allows entrepreneurs to see if trademarks have already been registered or applied for that are similar to your mark, live or in use. Several Secretary of State websites also offer the ability to conduct business name searches. Check with the state you plan to do business in and see if your name is available.