Questions What issues should I keep in mind when picking a name for my business? How do I find out if the business name I want is available? What is a trademark? What is the "legal name" of my business? What is a fictitious business name? Do I have to register my business name? Can I change my business
Questions How can I find out whether a trademark I want to use as a domain name is already being used? What happens if there is a conflict between an Internet domain name and an existing trademark? Can a business trademark a domain name for future use? When does an Internet domain name qualify as a trademark?
There's a lot of room for personal and professional creativity when choosing a business name, but there are three main considerations to keep in mind: Will your business name receive trademark protection?Is your proposed business name available?If your business will have a website, is a similar domain name available?
Now that you've picked the perfect business name, can you go ahead and use it? Not without doing your homework first. You must make sure that you aren't treading on someone else's rights to the name -- otherwise you could get into trouble. Find out whether another business is already using an identical or similar name by searching fictitious name databases, state databases for corporations, LLCs, or limited partnerships, and state and federal trademark databases.
Once you've done the hard work of choosing your business name, you'll want to protect it. Follow local and state laws that govern when you must register a fictitious (or assumed) business name. File for trademark protection at the state and federal level, if appropriate.
To do business on the Web, you'll need at least one domain name -- the .com or .net website identifier that has become so familiar in commercials and print advertising. The best domain names are often the simple ones -- short, memorable, clever, and easy to spell and pronounce. There are several factors to consider when choosing a domain name.
If your business or product name is trademarked but someone else owns the domain name and wants you to pay a large sum for it, you may be the victim of cybersquatting. This is the practice of buying up domain names that use the names of existing businesses with the intent to sell the names for a profit. If this happens, you can take action -- either by suing in court or initiating arbitration proceedings.
How different can a business name be from my own name without it being considered a DBA (or fictitious business name)? My name is Francine Smith. I want to use F Smith Group (or F Smith Consulting) as a business name. It will be a sole proprietorship.
I have trademarked my business name, "KINECT," with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, and also have registered the URL. Since I did so, someone has purchased the URLs KINECT.NET, KINECT.ORG, and KINECTION.ORG, NET, and COM. Can this be considered a trademark infringement, based on dilution, once they begin using the sites?
I am hoping to start a website, to bring people to my stores. I tried to register my business's name as a domain name but found it was taken. When I type in the address, though, the screen says "under construction." It's been "under construction" for months. What should I do?