While many business owners in Las Vegas may be aware that a trademark can provide invaluable protection, they may be unsure of when or where to do it. Owners of small companies may even balk at the cost. According to the Nevada Secretary of State, simply registering a trademark is $100. However, there are other fees or expedited services that could tack on a significant amount more, depending on the circumstances. Registering a trademark with the federal government is often more expensive, though it can be worth it.
Anyone who is creating a business in the state will have to register the name of the company with the Secretary of State. This ensures that there is no other company in the state with the same name. As Entrepreneur magazine points out, an owner who registers a business name as either a corporation or an LLC will have protection against other LLC or corporations from taking that name. However, the entity does not have protection from a partnership or sole proprietorship from taking the name. Further, registering a business name in Nevada does not prevent anyone in any other state from taking that name.
Experts recommend exploring a trademark for a business name under the following circumstances:
- If the business does business or plans to do business outside the state
- If there is a concern that someone else may try to take the name
- If there are companies already operating under similar names
There is also the threat that once a business becomes successful, other entities may try to use the company’s name to unethically attract business. For example, the actor Morgan Freeman recently sued a business that registered the domain name MorganFreeman.com to gain traffic.
Trademarking a business name may take a little effort and money upfront, but it can help company owners prevent costly and time-consuming legal battles down the road.