How to register a company name or logo

Written by gigi starr | 13/05/2017
How to register a company name or logo
(2007 Helico / Creative Commons)

To cement ownership of a particular mark or business name, it's necessary to register the name of the business and logo with the government. Using the services of a trademark attorney for the logo process is key, although business name filing can be done independently. Here are the steps necessary to complete both business logo and name registration.

Perform a design search to see if the art concept resembles an already registered design. It would be very wasteful to design a logo only to find that someone already has something so similar that it negates your idea. Therefore, perform a thorough search first.

Hire a trademark attorney to do more thorough searching, as well as processing all necessary paperwork for the registration.

Supply necessary information to the trademark attorney, including names and addresses of company principals, types of services affiliated with the mark, as well as any and all dates of previous use by the registrant.

Supply a drawing of the mark. According to Registering A, "A [good] specimen is a real-world example of how the mark is actually used on the goods or in the offering of the services. Labels, tags, or containers for the goods are considered to be acceptable specimens of use for a trademark. For a service mark, specimens may be used in advertising such as magazine advertisements or brochures. Actual specimens, rather than facsimiles, are preferred. One specimen is required for each class of goods or services specified in the application."

Pay the filing fee for the trademark, which is usually £217 per class of goods or services.

Think up a name concept that is descriptive, professional and memorable. Do a search to discover if there are other businesses with the same or similar name.

File for a business license. According to, "If your business is organised as a corporation, LLC, or limited partnership, in most states you automatically register your business name when you file your articles of incorporation, articles of organisation, or statement of limited partnership with your state filing office. This ensures that no other corporation, LLC, or limited partnership in your state will be able to use the same name."

If the name is considered "fictitious," meaning that it doesn't contain the name of the main principal of the business, it will be necessary to specify this on the filing forms. This is called a "d/b/a," an acronym for "doing business as." Check the references for each state's guidelines regarding d/b/a registration.

Things you need

  • Government issue identification
  • Social Security number, tax ID or employer identification number
  • Finances for filing and lawyer fees

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