Can you Trademark a Small Business Name?


If you’re starting a small business, you may be wondering if it’s worth the time and money to trademark your name or logo. The answer is yes! Trademarking your name and logo helps protect your brand identity and prevent other companies from using your business name or logo without permission. And while it sounds complicated, it’s actually pretty straightforward to do if you follow these steps:

Trademarking is a Good Idea for a Small Business

As a small business, one of the most important steps you can take to protect your brand is to trademark it. A trademark is simply a form of intellectual property that gives you exclusive rights over how your business name, logo, and other branding elements are used. By protecting these elements as trademarks, you help ensure that nobody else uses them (or uses them in a way that causes confusion with your business) without paying royalties or getting permission first.

Distinguishing your Business from Another

Trademarks are usually words and logos that are used on products and packaging to identify who made them. This makes it easier for consumers to choose which brand they want to buy, as well as for businesses to promote themselves. A good example of how trademarks work would be Coca-Cola® soda bottles versus generic soda bottles: when you see a Coca-Cola® bottle, you immediately know it’s the real thing because there are no other brands of colas out there with such unique branding

Trademark rights protect against consumer confusion about whether two products come from the same source. For example: if someone started selling their own version of Nike sneakers under another name—say “Newkicks”—that could cause confusion among consumers because people might mistakenly think these sneakers were made by Nike too.

Trademark Anything that your Customers Associate with your Business

You can trademark almost anything your customers associate with your business. This means that you could potentially trademark a name, logo, tagline, or even the sound of a jingle played in your store.

There are some things you can’t trademark though:

  • If it’s already in use by another company (like Apple). You can however register a trading name with the state and register an internet domain that includes it.
  • The name is too generic (like “shoes”).

No need to Register your Trademark to Hold the Rights to it

You don’t need to register your trademark to hold the rights to it. Trademark rights are recognized by common law (a set of legal principles based on historic use and precedent), which means that you can register your mark at a later time if necessary. The most important thing is actually using the trademark, not registering it with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

United States Patent and Trademark Office

You can find the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) in the Department of Commerce, which is a government agency. The USPTO was created by Congress to be responsible for protecting intellectual property like trademarks, copyrights, and patents. Among other things, it handles trademark applications from businesses and individuals who want to protect their brand name from infringement or registration by others.

The USPTO has an online search tool that lets you search its database of registered trademarks (called Principal Register) to see if your business name is already trademarked as well as tools that allow you to submit new applications if necessary.


Registering a trademark is an important step in protecting your business. You can register a trademark for your business name, logo, slogan, or any other identifying mark that distinguishes you from other companies. This gives you the right to use the mark in connection with goods and services.

  • Registering is not required for most small businesses but it’s usually worth the cost if you want to build a strong brand and prevent others from using similar marks on their products or services.
  • If someone else tries to use your trademark after you have registered it, they may end up facing legal action from you—so it’s always better to register early rather than late!


In the end, trademarking is a great way to protect your brand and keep others from stealing it. It’s important to note that you don’t need to file for trademark protection right away—you can hold onto your name without filing anything if you like. However, having a registered trademark will make it much easier in the long run if someone tries to steal your business name or logo design.

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