Naming Your Business – Protect Your Brand

Choosing the right name for your business can determine your success. A powerful name can create outstanding marketing and branding opportunities. However, choosing a name that is already taken – or choosing a name you can’t protect – can result in negative publicity and legal issues for your business. It is crucial to take the time to research and understand the legalities associated with naming your business.

Trademark Symbol or TM Symbol

Here’s a list of the top 4 legal considerations when naming your business:

1. Pick a unique name. 

Avoid descriptive wording. Search for similar trademarks in your field – avoid them.

2. Register the trademark in the countries you sell. 

Copyright your brand imagery – your logo. (Belt and suspenders)

3. Police and Enforce your trademark rights. 

Use TM, SM, or ® where appropriate and publish a Trademark Use Policy with your Terms and Conditions. Visit my other article for more information on the proper use of the Trademark Symbol – TM vs. ®.

4. Get Professional Help. Use a licensed attorney. 

Charles Riddle at has 20 years experience practicing trademark, copyright, and intellectual property law. We can answer your legal questions on the spot. We use our experience to guide you through the trademark process and avoid common pitfalls. For more information on naming your business, see our articles on Tips for Naming Your Business, The Stylistic Approach to Naming Your Business, and 10 Strategies to Consider When Choosing a Company Name for Trademark Use.

Do it right the first time.