New entrepreneurs and business owners are excited about starting their new business ventures, but often become confused by the differences between the domain names, business entity names, and trademarks of their emerging startups. While all three share similarities, there are differences between them. It is important to understand the differences and how they will impact your business. A well-versed business law attorney can help you better understand the importance and purposes of a business entity name, domain name, and trademark.
Business Entity Names
A business entity name is an entity that is created to engage in trade or business activities to sell a product or service to consumers.
Business name entities are registered in the state in which the business owner conducts business. It is important to complete a thorough entity name search to ensure that you are not choosing someone else’s existing business name that will infringe on their copyrights.
This mistake will create legal problems for you right at the start of creating your new business. To avoid this legal pitfall, you should consult with an experienced business law attorney who can conduct a comprehensive entity search for you and advise you on the legal steps to take when creating a business entity name for your business.
A domain name is a sequence of letters or numbers that consumers type into their web browser to connect to your company website or email address. The right to use a domain name is governed by domain name registrars. A business owner can get a domain name by buying one from the registrar of your specific domain name. Unlike trademarks and business names, a domain owner can keep others from utilizing the domain name without going to court.
A trademark can be an identifying name, word, symbol, logo design, or phrase that distinguishes your product or service from another business.
Trademarks may come in the form of a state trademark or federal trademark. State trademarks are generally recognized only in a certain state, while federal trademarks are recognized nationally.
Federal trademarks give business owners more protection against trademark infringement. A federal trademark that is registered with the US Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) provides many benefits to the trademark owner. With a federally registered trademark, the owner has the right to:
- File an injunction against an infringer
- Stop any importation of the trademark
- Receive monetary damages in the event of a trademark infringement
An intellectual property attorney can explain your trademark rights, help you register your trademark, and protect your trademark against infringement.
Get Legal Help for Business Entities, Domain Names, and Trademarks
Understanding the differences and similarities between business entity names, domain names, and trademarks is essential to your business and its future success. It is best to seek the advice of a business law or intellectual property attorney to explain the legal elements of creating and protecting your business name, domain name, and trademarks. They each play an important role in defining your business.