It’s December! The year is almost over. Can you believe it? Does December bring some much needed downtime or do you find yourself busier than ever as the year draws to an end.
We have discussed quite a bit about trademarks and how to protect them. We discussed using your trademark as your company name as an inexpensive way to show evidence of your use of the mark. That leads to the question, whether you must include the LLC or Inc designation in your trademark.
It is a requirement, when forming an entity, that you include a designation in the business name of the entity type. This often takes the form of “LLC” or “L.L.C.” for limited liability companies or “Inc.”, “Corp” or “Incorporated” for a corporation. It is not, however, a similar requirement when it comes to trademarks. That means, if you have a specific trademark in mind, you do not have to alter your mark simply because you have also used it as your entity name.
Facebook, Twitter, FedEx. These are all trademarks for entities. None of them use the designation of their corporate status. That designation is required in contracts, but not in trademarks. So, go out and make your trademark work for you. Do not be burdened by worrying about whether you must include those designations in your company logo. You don’t.
Some people think it is a good idea to include the entity designation as a means of proving legitimacy of your business. That is up to you (and can vary by industry), but the most well-known trademarks do not show that company designation. Perhaps, you should focus on building a recognizable mark rather than proving that you actually have an entity. Consumers will assume you have an entity if your business looks legitimate. So, protect yourself, but create a mark that is recognizable and can grow with your business.
Want to Know More about Trademarks?
Check out the Guide to Intellectual Property
For a complete listing of the posts on Trademarks, check out the Trademark Category in the Resource Center.