If you are starting a new business, now is the time to consider carefully the name of your new company. As part of our Enhanced Business Name Search, Reliant representatives will conduct a search of exisiting business listings and website domains as well as state and federal trademarks to help you make an informed decision about your company name. The last thing you want when you are starting a new company is the distraction and expense associated with having to change your company name, website name, email address, business cards, stationary, etc. simply because you weren't aware that someone else secured the name before you.
Any registered agent worth his or her salt will conduct at least a cursory search for identically named businesses in the state where you are attempting to incorporate. In fact, Secretaries of State throughout the country will generally inform the registered agent when another business already exists in that state with the same name you are attempting to register. A Secretary of State will then require a modification to the name or adoption of an Assumed Business Name (ABN or DBA) in order to distinguish your company before certifying your organization.
Reliant Registered Agent will, of course, check with the Secretary of State's office to determine if your desired business name has a conflict but, as part of our Enhanced Business Name Search service, we will take it to the next level and also search both the state and federal trademark registers for conflicts. Further, we will conduct a domain name search to determine if your desired business name is available as a website address. We will then provide you with a report of our findings so you can make a better informed decision before you have invested in a name for your new company.
As often as not, only a small tweak, and not a complete name change, will be all that is needed for you to preserve the essence of the new business name you desire. In either case, it is best to know before you invest time, energy and money in a name that you might ultimately need to change, or even abandon, if you were to find yourself in the middle of a trademark or unfair competition dispute.
As part of the Enhanced Business Name Search service, we will also assist you with filing a state trademark application for your service and/or product. The description of your trademark, or service mark, calls for somewhat stylized language in the application's description section. The description language identifies the goods or services you are attempting to associate with your trademark. We can provide a draft description of your goods and services for your consideration, suggest an appropriate class under which to file, and suggest whether you should select a trademark or a service mark and then assist you with filing the application for registration on-line, or in writing, with the Idaho Secretary of State's office. The State of Idaho only charges a small fee for this highly recommended initial step in preserving your rights.
This is a true "bang for your buck" opportunity. Federal trademark applications, though very similar in form and content, are much more expensive, generally much harder to obtain and also require that you are using your mark in interstate commerce versus only using it in a single state.
Keep in mind, regardless of whether you file or not, at either level, the critical factor is your active and on-going use of the mark in commerce. In fact, the first date you use the mark in commerce can be the biggest factor in determining your rights down the road regardless of whether or not you filed for trademark protection right away.