The Difference between Business Name & Trademark

July 3, 20191:43 pm244 views

A business name and a trademark serves different purposes and protect your business in different ways. While a business name gives you identity of what business you are doing, it does not give you full rights over that name. Trademark, in this regard, will give you the full rights on your business name. In order to understand deeper on what business name and trademark really are and how you should use it over your business, read the explanation below.

A business name

Law dictionary defines a business name, also known as trading name, as a name that a business trades under for commercial purposes. In other words, a business name is a name under which your business operates, meaning that you should choose one which can represent your business core. For example, if you are doing business in fashion, then your business name should represent fashion. It is crucial to choose a business name in order to communicate your business to consumers easily.

See also: The Importance of Intellectual Property for Small Businesses

Moreover, you can only register a business name which is different from what already existed because registering a business name that is identical or too similar will be more likely to arise conflicts. Therefore, a business name could change when necessary to avoid conflicts. You can learn from some of these companies, including eBay, Skype, or Etsy. At first, they intended to change their name to something catchier, but some of their chosen names have already existed so they came with eBay, Skype, and Etsy.

Having a business name does not give you legal rights to that name, meaning that if someone else uses your business name for their business, you don’t have any rights to stop them unless you’ve trademarked your name. As cited in entrepreneur, “Coming up with a good business name is more difficult than ever because many of the best names have already been trademarked.” 

With advertising costs and competition on the rise, however, you can protect your business name. To protect a business name, you can do the following tips.

1.  File a “Doing Business As” (DBA) to let your consumers know who actually owns a company. This will also protect your name against business name theft. If you own a website, do register your business name for a domain to protect your name against future entrepreneurs who want to use your name for their websites.

2.  Publish your name to newspaper or web page classified advertisements for a designated amount of time to let your consumer know your brand. But first, do ask your clerk if you must pay for the advertisements.

3.  Join community’s chamber commerce to create a local brand name recognition.

4.  Lastly, trademark your business and set a notification to your business communications.

A trademark

Trademark is defined as a term given to a recognisable name. Trademark is a marking or term that a company can use by law to identify itself and its products. In other words, a trademark is so important for a business person to own his business fully as a trademark will legally protect your name and stop others from trading with it. Trademark protection will also enable businesses to identify and distinguish themselves from other traders in the market. Thusly, if you want to become successful and your business reputation grows, a trademark will hold a significant value for it.

A trademark can be a symbol that contributes to an image your company tries to build as it marks your business quality and excellence. A logo can be considered as a trademark. For example, Ford is both the company’s logo and trademark. GMC trademark that does not serve as a logo for its products but is a trademark of GMC Company.

In addition, the registration of a trademark might be different for each country. In most ASEAN countries, the registration of a trademark will take about one to two years. Then, trademark applications are normally filled with your local trademark offices. This, oftentimes, will need an appointment with a local attorney to submit your application. Commonly, there are three steps you will encounter when registering a trademark. According to Marcaria, here are the general steps of trademark registration.

1.  Comprehensive study such as a report that includes a search and analysis of your registration probabilities of a trademark.

2.  Registration request to file your trademark application.

3.  Registration certificate to make known your trademark registration certificate.

Read also: Role of Intellectual Property Protection in Economic Growth