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Establisihing my Business Name

by James Dixon
(Washington, DC)

I am a certified personal trainer who works for a health club. I am considering running my own training business on the side. My questions are do I have to trademark the name I want or can I just copyright it?

Also, once I get my name established, should I get an EIN number, since I will be taking money from clients?

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Business Names
by: Charles C. Weller -- FITNESS LAWYER

You are not required to file a trademark application for your business name, but it's always a very good idea to do so (much stronger enforcement against others, less chance of infringement, remedies available to you, etc). If you incorporate your business, you can then obtain your EIN with the IRS (this is a service I include for my clients for all incorporations.) If you have additional questions, please feel free to ask.

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Trademarking a Business Name

by Eric Tatum
(Dallas,Tx United States)

My name is Eric Tatum and I am a certified trainer, I am working on creating a business name and a logo for my business or just using my name itself. What steps do i need to take to find out what names and logos are being used so that i can avoid unnecessary legal issues?

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Trademark issues
by: Charles C. Weller -- FITNESS LAWYER

It's always an excellent idea to trademark all your intellectual property. A federal trademark registration offers the broadest protection for your business. Before registering a trademark (or even using a particular business name or logo for that matter) you want to make sure you do a complete trademark search. Not everyone registers their trademarks, but they obtain "common law" trademark rights from the use of their mark. Before seeking registration, you must also do a search to make sure no one is currently using the mark which you desire. The best advice is to hire a competent lawyer who can handle the process for you. For the amount of headache you could suffer from not doing so, the cost is very minimal.

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Business Trademarks

by Shulanda
(Mansfield, Texas)

Hello Charles,
I am in the planning stages of starting my youth fitness business. (1) My business name is Bizzy Bodies Youth Fitness, a comprehensive program targeting 18 months to 12th grade. There is a well known fitness equipment business name Busy Body Fitness Equipment. Will there be a problem in the long run because of the similarities in the name. Also, if I wanted to trademark my name or since I've created a logo and beginning stages of my web site should I change my name? (2) If I purchase liability insurance would I also need a waiver?

Thank you in advance,
S. Barnett

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Insureance and Waiver a Must
by: Anonymous

you always need a waiver and insurance.

also, I would bet you will have a problem with the name. It sounds exactly the same as an established name and the "reasonable man" rule would state the slight spelling difference is not enough to differentiate the two. Think about it, if your business name were established, would you allow Busy Body Equipment to infringe upon your reputation and good name?

just a thought.
michael in San Antnoio,TX

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trademark
by: Shulanda

Thanks Micheal for your comment. I understand what you are saying,but what does the law states? I have found several names that is spelled exactly the same as Busy Body but is a fitness center. What about those companies.

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Depends
by: Anonymous

It really depends on the jurisdiction in which you will be doing business and also the location/jurisdiction of the other companies with names in question.

For example, if you wanted to form a corporation or LLC then you would likely need to worry about other company names within your whole state (Most states have a name reservation/ look-up service through the secretary of state). If you are only planning to operate locally under your name and using "bizzy bodies" as a trade name, then you would need to check with the local agencies (either city or county)

You should also check uspto.gov to see if there are already registered trademarks for the name and logos before you spend money on business registration and marketing materials.

Hope this helps,
Shauna, Atlanta GA

Hope this Helps

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Infringement on My Business Name and Websites

by Ken
(Virginia Beach, VA)

I need some advice on infringement. I started my personal trainer who started a group workout program 8 years ago called BootCamp for Women-BodyByKen. When I moved here from Wash DC 8 years ago to take care and started my bootcamp for women program with only 5 students. Now I have over 60 students per month at $150 per month in addition training clients all day at a rate of $50 per hour.

I did not get trademarked but I do have a business license in City Hall and pay taxes on my business. In fact, my program became so popular that I have been featured on every major news channel and newspaper here in the 7 city area they call Hampton Roads. I also make public speaking appearences at schools and seminars. Due to my success and numerous success stories the name BCFW-BBK has become very popular and well known in this area. So I have a very strong brand and presence in the community.

Last year this same time a lady joined my class, lost 22lbs, and my program changed her life. Then, a year later as of last week, Im getting emails saying that i was starting a new business in Hampton.I have locations in Norfolk and Virginia Beach VA. I informed the person that i wasnt and come to find out this lady has copied my website almost verbatim and used the content to make reference to her own. She just launced last week and is trying to get off to a grand start off because the general public has become to know "BootCamp for Women" as a BodyByKen program.

She also named her business "Ultimate Fitness Bootcamp for Wome" and used the same stencil font I use for my business name. My program is Bootcamp for Women BodyByKen, The Ultimate Workout Experience! She even used my forms and just put her names on them. What recourse if any do have against to protect me agains these kinds of vultures? Ive already sent her a letter asking her to please change it to something that is not soo close to mines. Thanks!

Best Regards!

Ken Williams aka BBK










A

Comments for Infringement on My Business Name and Websites

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Uh-Oh
by: Anonymous

Ken,

I am no attorney, but through very little research, if you run a business but have not trademarked the name and logo through your state or a US trademark, then you run the risk of someone taking your name and purchasing the trademark for the name/logo. At that point, YOU will no longer be legally able to use that name/logo. However, check this website out..

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_trademark_law

It describes how even if unregistered, you may be able to sue her baed on the longterm use of the name/logo on products and servcies. (But, her name is different than yours.)

With that said, her business name is different enough from yours that she could trademark her name and your could trademark yours and neither of you would be infringing upon the other legally, and both could operate.

Has she already trademarked the name and the logo? If not, you can obtain the trademark on both over the internet for a small cost both through your state (google: secretary of state website) and the United States Patent Office. See the links below. If she then attempts to use YOUR name and your exact logo, then you can start legal action against her. The links below will advise you about the slight differences in names that would be considered the same as yours or different than yours. The name she is using, is different. Unfortunately, without trademarking your product or service, your are vulnerable to someone legally "stealing" it from you. You probably need to go ahead and get a patent on your software (if you created it) as well. Good luck! Go now and trademark your product and logo!

www.uspto.gov


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trademark

by Kat spangler
(Fullerton, CA)

My sister trademarked her business name for $1500 but I found a website that says they can do it for only $500. How do I find the cheapest way of trademarking my business while also knowing that it is 100% legitimate?

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Legalzoom is great
by: Katie - Admin

I have heard of many trainers using Legalzoom to get trademarks, DBAs and establishing a new corporation or LLC. They are cheap and fast.

- Katie

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bda??
by: kat spangler

awesome, thank you so much!! also I have heard that term before, what exactly is a bda???

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DBA
by: Anonymous

DBA (Doing Business As) or Fictious business name allows you to operate as an business/independent contractor without using your personal legal name.

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Doing Business As
by: Fit Trainer

You can go to your county clerk and do it for less than $100 I paid $20 for my DBA. I used legal zoom my first time and paid over $100 for something you can do yourself.

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