Who owns your company name? Part
2 of 2
Branding serves to influence a customer’s perception.
Doesn’t Mrs. Butterworth’s syrup just taste buttery and gooood?
If you bought a Betty Crocker cake mix, wouldn’t you expect it
to be moist and pleasing to the palate? That’s branding.
Your company name is your brand. It is also your intellectual property.
It’s good to understand the value of your intellectual property.
You sign your signature on checks and important documents. It identifies
you as you. Your company name is the same. If someone is trying
to mimic you in order to capitalize on your advertising/marketing
budget or on your established name brand, you may have legal recourse.
It never hurts to register the company name you’ve chosen. That
carries a lot of weight in a court case should someone challenge
your ownership of the name.
A good friend of mine came into his family’s salvage business as
part of the fourth generation to manage the business. He asked
his father if he’d ever registered the name they’d been using for
70 years. His father hadn’t, and gave his son permission to do
so. The brand name that preceding generations had established is
now protected from others seeking to challenge the family’s ownership
of it. Proof of ownership of such a powerful brand name added considerable
value when the family decided to sell their salvage company to
You work hard to establish an imprint in the collective consciousness
of your customer base as well as in the public mind at large. It’s
your intellectual property. Preserve it. Protect it.
As you grow and add locations, it’s a good idea to register your
business name with the national trademark office. Trademarks are
like patents. A proven history of use is important and necessary.
The sooner you register your trademark, the better off you’ll be
in protecting your brand name. Don’t wait until you’re a millionaire.
Do it early on; then when you achieve significant success, no one
will be able to rock your boat–at least in regard to your trademark
or brand name.
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Remember, only you can make BUSINESS
Ron Sturgeon is past owner of AAA Small Car
World. In 1999, he sold his six Texas locations, with 140 employees,
to Greenleaf. In 2001, he founded North Texas Insurance Auction,
which he sold to Copart in 2002. In 2002, his book “Salvaging
Millions” was published to help small business owners
achieve significant success, and was recently reprinted. In
June 2003, he joined the new ownership and management team
of GreenLeaf. He also manages his real estate holdings and
investments. You can learn more about him at WWW.autosalvageconsultant.com
He can be reached at 5940 Eden, Haltom City, TX 76117, firstname.lastname@example.org or
817-834-3625 ext 6#.