Legal Requirements for Small Businesses

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The SBA provides a 30 minute block of instruction on your legal requirements when starting a business along with course worksheets.

Trademarking

Trademark as outline by USPTO

A trademark is a brand name. A trademark or service mark includes any word, name, symbol, device, or any combination, used or intended to be used to identify and distinguish the goods/services of one seller or provider from those of others, and to indicate the source of the goods/services.

When you start your business deciding on a trademark must be front and center. Take it from experience, when you determine the name of your business and the type of product you want to provide, you need to know if you want to trademark your brand. I suggest getting a lawyer who specifically does this. They can help you and work through trading marking.

Copyright

Copyright is a form of protection grounded in the U.S. Constitution and granted by law for original works of authorship fixed in a tangible medium of expression. Copyright covers both published and unpublished works.

You need to determine if you need to copyright your work. It will depend on what type of product you are producing or providing. If you need assistance you can go to https://www.copyright.gov/.

There is a difference between a trademark and copyright.  They both can have intellectual property protection, they protect different types of assets. Copyright protections are for literary and artistic works, such as books and videos. A trademark is used to protect a company’s brand along with all the items that are marked with the brand such as the logo. For example, Nike would protect its iconic Nike logo (trademark) but use a copyright to protect any videos it develops.