Once you have decided on a name (or several possible names) for your business, products, or services, you may want to register that name. But before you register your business name, you will need to conduct a search to verify that no other business has already registered the name(s) you are considering.
This sometimes requires more work than a simple Internet search, although the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) provides a search tool. You can also visit a Patent and Trademark Depository Library (PTDL), which have product guides and other resources to search for similar trademarks in addition to exact matches. A mark that has the potential to cause confusion among consumers, even if it doesn't necessarily show up in an online search, could create a legal dispute.
Finding the right business name and ensuring its availability early in the startup process can save you major headaches down the road. The following questionnaire identifies the information that will be required in order to conduct a proper search. See FindLaw's Trademarks section to learn more.
APPLICATION FOR REGISTRATION OF:
Trademark_____ Trade name_____ Service mark_____
Applicant's name ____________________________________________________
On behalf of (business name) ____________________________________________________
I have authorization to act on behalf of the above-named business.
Official title: ____________________________________________________
Applicant is a: Sole proprietorship_____ Partnership_____
Corporation_____ Limited liability company_____ Other_________________________
If applicant is a sole proprietorship, are you a U. S. citizen? Yes_____ No_____
If applicant is a corporation, state of incorporation: _______________________
Applicant's business address:
Applicant's business telephone number, including area code: _______________
Applicant's business fax number: _______________________________________
Applicant's business e-mail address: _____________________________________
Application is for: Federal registration only_____ State registration only_____ Both_____
State(s) in which registration is desired ______________________________________
Is registration outside of the United States desired? Yes_____No_____
If so, in what other countries?
Date the name or mark began/will be in use: ____________________________
The name or mark will be used to identify (check all that apply):
A business organization_____ Goods_____ Services_____
Registration is for (check all that apply):
Word(s) only_____ Word(s) in special lettering_____ Logo or design_____
Word(s) and logo_____
Company name_____ Domain name_____
Print, type, or attach the exact name or mark here.
The name or mark relates to the following type of business, product(s), or service(s):
Research conducted to date included the following resources:
Results of that research:
I have personal knowledge that all of the above information is true, complete, and accurate.
On behalf of ___________________________
Get Legal Help with Your Business Name and Trademarks
Your business name is your identity, so it pays to not only find a fitting name, but to also make sure it's legally available. If you need help searching for trademarks associated with your proposed business name or trademark, consider meeting with a trademark law attorney today.