This topic comes up a lot with my clients and members, and can be quite an emotive issue, which is understandable as your name is personal to you. So it is vital that you do these three simple things to protect your name - and the second tip is such a game-changer, everyone should be doing it!
1. Make sure you do your research
This will save you so much hassle and heartache in the future! Before you invest in branding, logos and everything else you need for your business make sure that no-one else is already using the name for something similar. Make sure that you check Companies House and the Trademarks Registry to see if someone has registered it, and also do a good old Google search. If someone is already using the name you have your heart set on, it doesn’t always mean you can’t use it, but it is definitely worth checking.
2. Start using the letters TM
This means an unregistered trademark...and the crucial thing is that you do not have to have a registered trademark to use these letters. As soon as you start building up goodwill towards your product or service you have an unregistered trademark. Also, don’t forget that most people will be wary of using a name if they see the TM letters, so it’s a great way to start protecting yours.
3. Explore registering your trademark
A registered trademark will give you even more protection, so it is something you should really think about doing. Trademarks are a valuable asset for your business and much easier to enforce than unregistered trademarks.