Can i trademark my dba [Beginner's Guide]

Last updated : Aug 8, 2022
Written by : Cyril Dominy
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Can i trademark my dba

Do you need to trademark your DBA?

Coverage. A DBA is only going to protect your name. If you want protection for anything else, such as a logo, you will need a trademark.

How do I protect my DBA name?

Trademark. A trademark can protect the name of your business, goods, and services at a national level. Trademarks prevent others in the same (or similar) industry in the United States from using your trademarked names.

Can you trademark a business name?

Business names, product names, logos and labels can all be trademarks. You acquire a trademark by using your mark in commerce—in other words, using it when you conduct your business. For additional protection, you can register a trademark with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

Is a brand name the same as a DBA?

What does DBA mean? DBA stands for “doing business as.” It's also referred to as your business's assumed, trade or fictitious name. Filing for a DBA allows you to conduct business under a name other than your own; your DBA is different from your name as the business owner, or your business's legal, registered name.

Can a DBA violate trademark?

A company that files a DBA name does not have exclusive rights to the registered name—and in fact may not even be able to use it legally in commerce if it violates another company's trademark. Trademarks, on the other hand, grant a business the exclusive right to use the mark, words, symbols, or title in commerce.

Should I trademark or copyright my business name?

A trademark can protect your name and logo in case someone else wants to use them for their own purposes. Also, you cannot really copyright a name, since copyright protects artistic works. This is exactly why you need to have a trademark that protects your company's intellectual property, such as your logo.

Can two businesses have the same DBA name?

For most states, two businesses will not be allowed to use the same DBA. Doing so will cause confusion, especially when the fictitious names are in the same industry. In order to use a DBA for your business, you must submit an application. Just make sure that your fictitious name isn't already taken!

What are the disadvantages of a DBA?

  • Lack of Naming Rights: Using a DBA does not give you official rights to your business name.
  • Lack of Legal Protections: Using a DBA also does not give you the same legal protections and limited liability as an LLC or other corporate structure.

Why should I trademark my business name?

A company's business name is among one of its most powerful branding assets. And as with other business assets, it's wise to protect it. If a business owner fails to do so, they run the risk of another company using the name. That can potentially confuse customers and create legal issues.

Should I get a trademark or LLC first?

4. Should you get an LLC first or trademark? Yes, you should get an LLC first before a trademark because the trademark application will need to identify the LLC as the trademark owner. You should create an LLC or business entity before you file a trademark application.

What happens if I don't trademark my business?

If you do not register your trademark, you will have legal rights only within the geographic areas where you operate. This means you may be able to stop a subsequent user of the mark, even if it is a bigger company, from using the mark in your geographic area only.

How long does a trademark last?

A federal trademark lasts 10 years from the date of registration, with 10-year renewal terms. Between the fifth and sixth year after the registration date, the registrant must file an affidavit to state that the mark is still in use.

What names Cannot be trademarked?

  • Proper names or likenesses without consent from the person.
  • Generic terms, phrases, or the like.
  • Government symbols or insignia.
  • Vulgar or disparaging words or phrases.
  • The likeness of a U.S. President, former or current.
  • Immoral, deceptive, or scandalous words or symbols.
  • Sounds or short motifs.

Can I register a trademark without a company?

Any individual – Indian National or Foreign National can easily register a trademark in India. There is no requirement for forming a legal entity or business entity to register a trademark.

How do I trademark a name for free?

You can not register a trademark for free. However, you can establish something known as a "common law trademark" for free, simply by opening for business. The benefit of relying on common law trademark rights is that it's free, and you don't need to do any specific work filling out forms, etc.

Is a DBA intellectual property?

Doing business as (DBA) registrations and trademarks serve two completely different purposes. A DBA allows you to do business using a fictitious name, which is any name other than your legal name. A trademark, on the other hand, is a type of intellectual property registration that protects your business's branding.

What is the cheapest way to trademark?

The basic cost to trademark a business name ranges from $225 to $600 per trademark class. This is the cost to submit your trademark application to the USPTO. The easiest and least expensive way to register your trademark is online, through the USPTO's Trademark Electronic Application System (TEAS).

How do I protect my brand name and logo?

You may register a trademark for your logo with the Secretary of State in the state where your company is based. This protects your rights within that state, so the logo cannot be copied by brands in other states. The most expensive option is to file a trademark application with the USPTO.

How do I trademark my business name and logo?

A unique logo can be trademarked by registering it with the USPTO. Anyone can apply online on the USPTO website if the business for which they're authorized to file is principally located inside the U.S. If based outside the U.S., a patent attorney will be required to make the filing.

Do I need a separate bank account for each DBA?

You do not need to have separate bank accounts unless you also have separate DBAs. Many banks do not even charge you to have separate bank accounts and doing so can make the accounting and tax process much easier.

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Can i trademark my dba

Comment by Sam Caraveo


Thanks for your comment Sam Caraveo, have a nice day.
- Cyril Dominy, Staff Member

Comment by locksilraU

hey this is attorney elizabeth potts weinstein and today we're going to talk about do you need a dba or do you need a trademark so to answer that question let's look at what is a dba and what is a trademark what are the purposes of both of them a dba a doing business as registration which in some places is called a fictitious business name registration some places is called a trade name is a registration you do with the state or the county where you are located to put the world on notice that you're using a name for your business a brand name that is different than the legal name of your business and the reason you have to do that dba or fbn registration is because it's required under state law that's the number one reason you have to do it if you're transacting business with a name that's different than your legal name so for a sole proprietorship your legal name is your name so if you have a name for your business that's different than your own legal name then you have to do the registration and if you're an llc if you have a name for your brand that's different than the name of the llc you have to do the registration because it's just required under state law also you're going to need that document so you can put the name of the business on your bank accounts merchant accounts all that kind of stuff if you want to put out your business with that brand name into the world and have it be on everything such as showing up when a charge is on your client's credit card statement then you're going to want to have that dba or fbn registration train marks are different trademarks are there to protect consumers we want to make sure that consumers when they go to buy a purse that it is the legit purse from the brand that they think they're purchasing from and not a counterfeit purse as an example so the idea of trademark registration is actually not to protect you as the owner as much it's more to protect consumers from counterfeit so they know the source of the the product or service that they're buying is what they think it is now it also protects you the business owner from someone else having a product service business whatever that has the exact same name in the same industry because you can file lawsuit against them and get them to stop trademark registration is also helpful with third parties like amazon twitter instagram if you have a registered trademark and someone else want has tries to get the url tries to use that brand on amazon and selling that brand because your registered trademark you can get dibs with that third-party business over the people who are trying to be confusing to everyone in the market but if you don't have a registered trademark they're probably not going to give you the time of day so which one do you need and maybe you actually need both it depends if you're using a name for your business that is different than the legal name of your business then you need that dba fbn registration if you want your to protect the brand name over the entire united states then you want to get a trademark registration so in some cases you're going to do both of those things because both of those things are true in some cases you just need one or the other it really depends upon the exact facts of your situation is this just something that's just one little product or is it the entire name of your business and how much money and time are you willing to spend on this that's my last point dbas take a little bit of time and money but they're much faster than getting a registered trademark so with the dba or fbn registration for example here in california not only do you have to register the fictitious business name with your county you also have to have it published in a legal newspaper so it takes six to eight weeks or more for all that paperwork to be done typically the cost is going to be around 100 so between 75 125 somewhere in there trademarks though with the united states patent and trademark office take a lot longer and cost a lot more money if you do it all yourself you don't hire a lawyer you don't use any kind of service you do all the filing yourself and you just do it in one category or class then it will be 250 for the filing fee as the time i'm recording this video as long as you fall under the requirements of that 250 sometimes it's actually 350 per class or category of your product or service and it takes a lot longer a trademark is currently going to take maybe nine months at the earliest but it's looking more like 12 to 18 months and that's assuming nothing goes wrong you don't have to have a fight with the trademark office so it can even take longer than that can take years to get that through so if you're deciding do you need a dba or a trademark most of you will probably need a dba if that's the name you're using for your business it's different than your legal name of your business for trademarks a lot of times it's not just about do you need it it's about how much time do you have and what is your budget again this is attorney elizabeth potts weinstein if you have any questions about what i've talked about today feel free to post them in the comments and i will and i will try to point you in the right direction thumbs up if you like this video and subscribe for more videos about small business law trademarks copyrights all that kind of stuff see you later bye

Thanks locksilraU your participation is very much appreciated
- Cyril Dominy

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