Starting a small business in Florida, California or any other state can be exciting and frightening at the same time. You have so many decisions to make, from the name of your company to a design for a logo that is simple yet recognizable. What you may not realize is that you also need to register trademarks for your new company. Trademarks are especially important if you intend to do business internationally, whether it is with German, England, Japan or another foreign nation.
What is a trademark?
According to experts in business and commercial law, a trademark is a device, name, symbol or any combination of those items that is used to identify what your company offers consumers. In most cases, the trademark is the name of your company, but it can also be a logo or other identifying feature. A trademark is not the same as a trade name as a trade name gives you no legal protection against someone else using the rights to that name. A trademark is also not a copyright, although both a trademark and a copyright are examples of intellectual property. A copyright protects an original work, such as photographs, written words or music compositions while a trademark is the symbol of your company.
Building brand reputation
One of the things you will hear often as you start a new business is the need for a good brand reputation. A good trademark can influence someone to purchase your product and, when they see that trademark, they will immediately think of your company. Consider the Nike Swish or McDonald’s Golden Arches. When you see those trademarks, you instantly know what company they represent without having to see the company name.
Why should I register my trademark?
Unless your trademark is registered, any other company can use it for their own purposes. It also protects you from infringing on someone else’s intellectual property as registering the trademark will let you know if another company has already used it. Registering a trademark can be complicated which is why you need the assistance of an attorney who has experience in business and commercial law.