All companies have their own unique name, each of these companies has a trademark with this name under copyright law, so no other company can use their name without consent. When you start a business in the UK or Register an overseas company in the UK, you will need to trademark the name of your company. If you also own a subsidiary company and decide to call it the same name as your parent company, this trademark will transfer over to your daughters company.
Why do I need a Trademark for my Business Name?
Having a trademark for your business name will ensure you are under copyright laws if anyone tries to take your name or uses it without permission. For example, if they use your brand name without consent to try and get financial gain on a video etc. There are many ways copyright infringements can occur on a trademarked name/ product. You will also be able to put the ® symbol next to your name which will become a deterrent for anyone thinking of taking/ using it. This symbol also shows you as being professional and gives trust with future shareholders or investors. Having a trademark will also mean you will be able to sell and licence your brand.
If you do not trademark your name and or logo when you start your business, another company may take your name and register it themselves. If this happens you will have to change it, which can be challenging as you may lose customers or investment if they don’t recognise you under your new changed name. You could also lose product money if your brand name has been put on your products, these will have to be changed as well or discarded and made again. If a company registers your name before you do, you can ask for consent form the company to also have that same name, however they may say no, then you have no choice but to change it. So getting a trademark on your name registered as soon as possible is crucial to make sure you own and keep it for your company.
You may also like to read – Why the UK is Still One of the Best Countries to Start a Business?
How do I Trademark the Name?
You can apply to register a trade mark online with the official GOV website.
The process is relatively simple, it takes around 4 months to process the registration, as long as no one opposes your trademark. Once registered the trademark will last 10 years. This trademark will only be registered in the UK and the Isle of Man. If you need to register a trademark for a company overseas you will need to apply differently, which can also be found on the GOV website.
Check your Brand Qualifies as a Trade Mark
Before checking to see if the brand you have can be trademarked, you should see if it has already got a trademark by another company. You can go onto the trademark database and see if your name is there and already in use. You can search by trademark number, image, keyword, phrase and owner. If you find that a company has the trademark you want, if you don’t want to change it, you can ask them for permission to register yours as well. If they agree, a letter of consent must be sent to you which you need attached to your application for your trademark.
Once seen that no one else has your trademark already you can register your own. Your trademark must be unique, listed below are things you can and cannot have with your trademarked name/ logo;
– What you can have
• Your logo
• All of the above combined
– What you cannot have
• Swear/ curse words
• Pornographic Images
• Descriptive words of the products you sell (For example if you sell chairs, you cannot trademark the word chair if it’s in your name)
• Misleading words
• A 3D shape representative of your trademark (For example the shape of an apple for selling apples
• Non-distinctive/ common words, (For example ‘All for you’, this could be for anything, so makes the name misleading)
• If it looks too similar to flags or state symbols
Does this Count?
There are a couple of things that you can do with your business that may seem like it counts as trademarking.
Registering with a company house:
Unfortunately registering with Companies House is not a way to trademark your name/ logo. It only makes sure the exact wording of your name is registered with the registrar of companies within the UK. if you have competing businesses they can register a similar name to you at companies house, providing no one else has it.
Buying a website address:
Again like above unfortunately buying a website domain for your company does not count as a trademark. It does not give you ownership over your name even if the name is in the site address. If there is a third party business who has their name trademarked and you use it in your website domain name, they will be able to enforce copyright laws against you for using their name.
Do I Need A Lawyer?
Intellectual property Lawyer
Having a trademark falls under intellectual property, it is a good idea to protect this property as much as your other physical property. You can do this by hiring an intellectual property Lawyer to help and advise you on trademarking your name. They will run you through copyright laws making sure your trademarked name is not breaking any of these laws, or that someone has the trademark you own. With such a social media heavy world, trademarks can be used easily and without knowing sometimes, having an IP lawyer will help you keep your property your own and used without copyright claims being made.
If you want to ensure your business name/ logo is yours and no one else can take it and use it for their company, getting a trademark registered is a key thing to do. It is a quick and easy application to do, after you check your name is acceptable and available to trademark, after the 4 month process that name is yours for your company to use freely for 10 years. Getting an intellectual property lawyer will help and advise you through this trademark process and will also ensure you aren’t taking anyone else’s registered trademarks. Mishoura is a company that will be able to find you your intellectual property lawyer to help you get started with trademarking your name for your starting business. Also Business concierge companies like The One World will walk you through and help you register your trademark without a lawyer if that is something you chose to do. It is an essential and simple thing to do to keep your company name your own.