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Documentation for applying for a business name trademark

It may seem so obvious, but for many it is not readily apparent: your business name is your primary piece of branding. People may know your company for the products or services they purchase from you, but it is the name and the colors and the logo of your company that give you "the brand" to which people keep coming back.

With this in mind, it is very important for any company to trademark their company name so that your brand remains "your brand." Trademarking your company will name protects you and your company from brazen identity theft by other individuals or companies.

Applying for a trademark can be a bit of a process, but it is not so daunting that you should shy away from it. Instead, embrace that challenge. It is easy to overcome if you have the right legal counsel on your side and you are fully prepared for what the process will throw at you.

Remember that each state has a different process for registering your business name. In terms of trademarking your business name, you should have these documents at the ready:

  • Any partnership agreement, if it applies to your company
  • Any articles of incorporation (again, if applicable)
  • An exact copy of what you are trademarking
  • An example (or "specimen") that shows how you will use the mark
  • Any copy, past or present, of a certificate of registration (including foreign registrations)
  • Any reports from the Patent and Trademark Office

Source: FindLaw, "Checklist: Documents to Collect When Trademarking Your Business Name," Accessed Feb. 10, 2017

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