How to Avoid Business Name Conflicts?

Once you're done choosing a business name, you launched your company, sales are flying and that you must immediately cease use, transfer the domain, and pay damages equal to all profits that you have made. Think it can't happen? It's a nightmare but no worries it can be easily avoided.

Before settling on any new brand, we recommend following these steps to avoid trademark conflicts. If you encounter a conflict, you can stop before the next step, and pick a new name. Possibilities are there.

 

Google Search

They say Google is a life savior, so it is.

Type the name into Google and check the results for products and services that may fall in your business category. Note down how many Google results are returned when you do a search. The fewer, the better it is.

 

Domain Search

If your domain name can have multiple spellings, use a WHOIS service (DomainTools.com, Whois.net) to see if those alternatives are already registered.

 

Search Trademarks

Use a website which currently exist for your country like the United States Trademark Electronic Search System to see what registered trademarks have (live and dead).

 

Hire a Firm

If you're still unsure by this point, then next step for you is to hire a reputable firm that may find any relevant trademarks, service marks, trade names or domain names that may conflict with yours. A general search approximately cost you $400.

 

Hire an Attorney

Depending on your search skills and budget you can always start here, skip all mentioned above, or to skip this step completely. Just make sure you're protected.

Beyond trademarks, there is always a chance that your potential name is enough that it can just be confused with other brands, or that it can be lost in an overwhelming amount of Internet search results. In the end, what matters is to make sure your customers identify your brand with you, not with something or any other brand.