The world of business is far more complicated than any new entrepreneur believes or understands. It is easy to get lost throughout the process and miss out on the simple, yet important factors that can foretell the future of your enterprise.
The importance of the business name
The name of a company is one of its most important things. As people know you by your name, so every company is recognized by this hallmark, because it carries your company’s reputation, irrespective of its extreme goodness or desperate failure.
You will have to choose a business name that reflects your brand identity and doesn’t clash with the products or services that you offer. Therefore, there are four different ways to register your business name. Each registration serves a different purpose, and some are required in order to have a legal business. Your entity name will protect you at a state level.
Trademarks will protect you at a federal level. Doing Business As (DBA) doesn’t offer legal protection but it might be required in some cases. The Domain name will protect your business website address. Each of these categories is legally independent of each other.
Trademarks – as mentioned above, a trademark will protect the name of your business and the services you offer at the national level. Trademarks can prevent other companies in the U.S from using it.
An example is if you are using a certain name like “Tesla”, and a certain model like “Model S”, this would prevent other companies from using the same name, as you have the legal permit to only use it yourself. Anyone who tries to use it will be subject to sanctions and will be subjected to trademark infringement lawsuits.
Doing Business As (DBA) name – it is also known as a trade fictional name – with the state, country, or the city where your business is located. As mentioned, a DBA does not provide legal protection, but most states in the U.S require a company to register its DBA because some business structures require it. DBA requirements are based on your specific location and its requirements vary by the business structure, state, country, municipality. This information can be found on every government website.
Domain name – the most important thing about your online business is the domain name. It’s a good way to protect your name on the internet because once you register it, nobody can use the same domain name.
Entity Name – Entity names protect your business at a state level. It is how the state identifies your business. In the U.S where every state has different state laws, the rules might be different from setting up an entity name. This allows you to have protection, which bans other business of using your identity.
Legality of registration
The location and business structure determine how you will register your business, which varies in every state.
It is a note requirement to register your business with the federal government to become a legal entity. Most times you will need to fill a federal tax ID.
To trademark your business, name, or a certain product, you will need to file it with the United States Patent and Trademark office.
Tax-exempt status for a non-profit organization needs to be registered as a tax-exempt entity with the IRS. With an S corp, you will need to file form 2553 also with the IRS.
If your business has a physical presence, in-person meetings with clients, a large amount of revenue that comes from a certain state then you will to register your company in a certain state (Secretary of State’s office, a Business Bureau, or a Business Agency).
It is very important to get a registered agent in your state if your business is an LLC, corporation, partnership, or a non-profit organization. The registered agent receives official papers and legal documents on behalf of your company and must be located in the state where you are registered.
In addition, some states require you to provide certain reports after registering depending on your business structure. There are additional certain documentation files referred to as Initial Reports, Tax Board registration, and need to be filed within 30 to 90 days after your registration.
Legality of insurance
Many states require businesses with employees to purchase workers’ insurance. Most of the types of commercial insurances are optional, but depending on the state law where you operate you might be required to purchase: Worker’s compensation insurance, commercial auto insurance, Professional liability insurance, Liquor liability insurance.
Worker’s compensation insurance – it is mandatory to purchase this insurance if your business has employees. Commercial auto insurance – If your business has business-owned vehicles they must be covered by commercial auto insurance. This protects employees if they get into a car incident.
Professional liability insurance – some professionals such as real estate agents are required to purchase this type of insurance. This insurance provides protection if a customer or a client sues your business for its mistakes for financial losses.
Liquor liability insurance – businesses such as bars, restaurants are required to purchase this kind of insurance. This policy provides protection if your business is held accountable for property damage and injuries caused by clients.
Legality of Patents
There are three types of patents:
• Utility patents – they are granted to anyone who invents or discovers any new and useful process, the machine, article of manufacture, or composition of matter, or any new and useful improvement.
• Design patents – granted to anyone who invents a new, original, and ornamental design for an article of manufacture.
• Plant patents – granted to anyone who invents or discovers and asexually reproduces any distinct and new variety of plant.
A trademark can also help your business. It is a form of words, symbols, name, devices that are used in trading with goods to indicate their sources and most importantly to distinguish them from other products.
The Servicemark is almost the same as a trademark, but the difference is that it is identified by the source of a service, rather than a product. As mentioned, trademarks are used to prevent other companies and people from using a similar mark.
The copyright is also a form of protection, which provides authors with full protection and legality of their work. Copyright protects works of literature, art, musical, artistic, and other intellectual works. It gives its author exclusive rights to reproduce, distribute, to perform publicly, and to display it publicly.