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Seeing your name up in someone else's lights

Remember when your business was merely a dream inside your own head? If you're anything like other small business owners in Florida, you probably doubted yourself from time to time, thinking your business hopes would never come to fruition. Remember how good you felt when you pushed past those obstacles and forged ahead with your idea - then, finally, gave your business a name? Whether you've been in business one year or one decade, those days probably seem like a distant memory to you now.

What's in a name?

Naming a business or developing a brand is considered a crucial component of the entrepreneurial process by many business-building experts. Similar to a good title on the cover of a novel, your business name needs to draw attention, attract clients and tell the world what you want it to know. Some say the name is the essence of a successful business. Wherein marketing is something you "do" -- your name and/or brand is "who you are."

Hopefully, you applied the tips similar to those below to follow when you were naming your business. The following are things most business owners want to avoid when choosing what to hang on their shingles:

  • Initials: Although IBM didn't seem to have a problem with it, it's better to go with a full name, word or phrase than initials. Generally speaking, words sound more interesting than initials.
  • Tongue twisters: Remember when you spent hours dreaming how your business would meet a basic need of society and grow to be a huge success? Hopefully, you also practiced saying your prospective business name out loud. It's always a good idea to make sure your catchy business name is user friendly.
  • Hard-to-spell words: This topic is rather controversial as some say it's better to spell words correctly when naming a business, while others like the idea of using phonetics or colloquial terms to give their names creative twists.

Perhaps you enlisted the help of your family or hired someone to name your business. Whether or not your business name represents a brand, once you have developed it and it gains recognition, it's understandable you'd want to protect your interests.

Be the watchdog:

If you went through the trouble of securing a trademark and copyright, you might be interested in knowing how others in your position have successfully protected their business names. Many business owners regularly scour the internet, paying close attention to url's, logos and advertisements. If someone else is using your trademarked or copyrighted name and/or brand, there are steps that can rectify the situation.

Right name, wrong business

Imagine Googling your business name or brand and finding links to another person's website! Perhaps even worse, what if you were walking down the street and saw your trademarked title on a sign above another merchant's threshold? One of the first things you can do is contact a business and commercial law attorney who not only can provide guidance as to how best to address the situation but can also aggressively litigate any issue that warrants it on your behalf.

Acting alongside skilled and experienced representation often places the ball in your court. Any issue left unresolved for too long can severely compromise future business success. By being proactive and acting promptly, you may be able to obtain swift and favorable solutions to your business-related problems.

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Reid Burman Lebedeker
Esperante Building, Suite 1160
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West Palm Beach, FL 33401

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