There are a lot of unknowns when you are starting your own business. This week we received a question about where to register a business (local or international) and what steps to take if someone else already has a website of the same name.
If you have a legal question, whether it’s about estate planning, custody issues, or starting your own business, stop by our Facebook page every Wednesday from 10:30am-12:00pm and our guest attorneys will point you in the right direction.
Is it better to register my business locally or internationally? And if I register a company and it’s already a website, can that cause legal issues?
“Registering a company” could mean a couple of different things. You can register your company name when you incorporate in a particular state (like if you’re filing for an LLC in New Jersey). In this case, the first step would be to make sure no one else in your state has the same name as your company. Check with your secretary of state’s website to do a search.
Next, you’ll want to make sure the name isn’t already trademarked. Check out our article, “How to do a Trademark Search” to learn how to get started.
There’s no additional benefit of doing anything internationally unless you’re actually doing business overseas. It probably wouldn’t help you get around any domestic naming issues, if that’s your objective.
Intellectual property lawyers are experts at doing trademark searches, and giving you guidance on which names are okay, and which might cause problems down the road. We can connect you with an attorney for a one-on-one consultation.