If you’re starting a new business, you know there are a lot of things you need to check off on your to-do list. One of those is most likely registering your business name and/or logo legally. But how do you know if a trademark or a DBA is right for your business? We’re here to help you break it down and understand the differences between the two – so you can make the right decision for your business.
A DBA (“Doing business as”) is a way to allow yourself to conduct business under a business name, or another name, that is different than your legal name. In some cases, a bank may require you to have a DBA to work with you, or a client of yours may need your DBA to write up a contract with you. A DBA lawyer can help you decide if this is best for your business.
Contrary to a DBA, a trademark gives your company or business the exclusive rights to use whatever words and symbols have been granted trademark rights. This gives your business more legal rights than a DBA would. With a trademark, you legally have the ability to force other companies to stop using words or symbols that you have trademarked if it is confusing to your customers. To get your trademark paperwork as accurate as possible, work with a trademark lawyer before sending it in.
Which should I choose?
Basically, a trademark is a legally binding document that gets approved through the United States government and has much more legal rights attached to it than a DBA, which is just allowing you to formally conduct business under an alias or company name. By choosing a DBA, you also face the risk of another company using your name in the future – a trademark will not allow that to happen.
If you still aren’t sure which is best for your new business, contact the offices of Dan Burke Attorney at Law so we can help you out today!