Does Your Solo Business Need Trademark Protection? Something stood out in my mind during my start-a-business research, highlighted by books, articles, and workshops, convincing me that trademarking my business name was necessary.

In those pre-Internet days there was only one way to research trademark data, and that was at the library.

I sat in a chair for at least two hours accessing files on a now-antiquated system trying to find evidence that someone had or had not already trademarked the business name I wanted.

The result? The name was free and clear for me to trademark with or without an attorney. I chose to complete the application on my own.

The trademark submission was mailed, and I soon learned that there were minor errors in the application. I reviewed the submission again, this time with care, and months later my trademark name was approved.

Today, it seems that buying domain names in dot com, dot net, and dot anything else is more critical to business longevity than a trademark. However, isn’t protecting your brand name through a trademark just as critical as protecting it through your online identity?

Protection is worth the cost

Securing a domain name costs less than the price of trademarking. Still, registering your business name with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office or whatever government entity controls a similar system in your country may help in several ways.

*Higher and stronger value when selling the business
*Easier ability for your attorney to protect your brand

I found one company using my recently-trademarked business to sell one of their products. My attorney sent a cease-and-desist letter to that firm, and the attorney representing the company notified us that my business name would no longer represent the product in question. Had I not trademarked my name, I would have had no legal recourse.

Chapter 8 of in the book Marketing Strategies for the Home-Based Business, explains more about trademarks and patents and its importance so it’s not a concern as you begin marketing.

Think about the long-term vision you have for your brand. You may find a trademark to be a necessary complement to owning a domain name.

Shirley George Frazier

Shirley George Frazier is recognized worldwide as one of the foremost experts on marketing strategies for small businesses and creative professionals who operate firms without employee assistance. In business since 1990, Shirley is president and CEO of Sweet Survival LLC®, a firm specializing in creative business and marketing support. Shirley transforms systems by assisting professionals to start and manage productive work environments, For more information or to invite Shirley George Frazier to your next event, call 973-279-2799 or email info@solobusinessmarketing.com.

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