Should I trademark my business name UK?

Although you might consider it an unnecessary hassle, trademarking your business name is an important step in protecting your company against unfair competition. If you do not register your business name as a trademark, it can easily be used by your competitors to steal your clients. Though it’s not considered one of the legal business requirements, trademarking is a simple way of giving your business the necessary legal protection. In this article, we will discuss the importance of registering your business name as a trademark in the United Kingdom (UK).

What is a trademark?

A trademark is any symbol, word, or set of words that you’ve legally registered as representing your business or product. Once you register your business name as a trademark, it becomes your intellectual property and nobody else can use it without your authorisation. Without a registered trademark, nothing stops your competitors from using your business name to sell their products and benefit from your well-established reputation.

Why should you register your business name as a trademark in the UK?

There are many benefits of registering your business name as a trademark. Here are some of the reasons why you must trademark your business name.

Exclusive rights

Once you have registered your business name as a trademark, you enjoy exclusive rights over it. You can even use it for all the products and services that fall under the class you have applied to. The exclusive right over the trademark also means that nobody else working under the same class your business name is registered with can use the name.

Building trust and goodwill

Since the quality of your products or services is known to customers through your business name, it’s a great way to build your reputation and help grow your potential customer base. Especially if you regularly rely on word of mouth referrals.

Make your products stand out

One of the easiest ways to beat your competitors is to make your products stand out in the market by branding them with your name. This makes it easy for your customers to identify your products in the market because you have exclusive rights over the name, meaning you never need to worry about imitation products being sold.

Creating an asset

When you register your business name as a trademark, you create an intangible asset because it becomes a form of intellectual property for your organisation. Therefore, you can either sell, assign, franchise, or commercially contract your trademarked business name to make money out of it.

Use the ® symbol

Once you trademark your business name, you are free to use the ® symbol alongside the name, which will add more credibility to your business. The symbol indicates that the business name is registered under trademark, thus deterring your competitors from using it.

Finally, a registered trademark in the UK is only valid for ten years. Therefore, you must continue renewing the trademark if you want to continue having the exclusive right over it. But this doesn’t mean that you have to make a fresh application when renewing your trademark.

Also, you should use the trademarked business name commercially within five years of its registration. Failure to do so can leave you open to legal challenges by competitors wanting to use the same name. Remember that your trademarked business name must remain the same throughout the ten years. Changing any aspect of it, including the font, will require you to make a fresh application.

For further reading, check out article How to add a director to a company.

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