How to trademark a name and logo (With details and benefits)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 4 August 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Trademarks allow organisations to protect their name, logo and other identifying marks. Trademarks are usually registered with the Intellectual Property Office (IPO). A business may register a trademark for any goods or services used in commerce, which may not only include traditional products such as cars and beverages, but also services, like delivery functions or gaming websites. In this article, we look at how to trademark a name and logo, what happens when you do this and list some of the benefits of trademarking properties.

How to trademark a name and logo

To trademark a name and logo, consider the following steps:

1. Choose your business name and design your logo

Choosing a business name is a difficult task, especially when you're trying to decide whether to trademark it. When choosing your business name or designing your logo, check other trademarks that are similar to the ideas you have. This helps you determine if any existing trademarks might cause confusion amongst customers or other businesses. Simultaneously, try to ensure that your name isn't too broad.

Related: How to name business ventures in 11 steps with registration

2. Apply for its registration at the IPO

To apply for the registration of a business name or logo at the IPO, it's necessary to first create an online account. Once you've created your account, start filling out the form provided. Each section asks you to provide information about your business name, logo and other details. Once you've completed all required fields on the form, click ‘Submit' to send it off for review by the IPO. The agency then contacts you if they need any further information or if there are any errors in your submission.

3. Wait for the IPO to respond to your application

Try to be patient after submitting your application to register your business name or logo because the IPO has the final say in whether or not your name is successfully trademarked. If they ask you to make changes to your application, it's likely that they want you to modify your name or logo before they officially register it. The IPO tends to let you know if they require any further action on your behalf and if there are any issues with your application within 12 weeks.

It's also best to hold off on printing any merchandise with a name or logo on it until the IPO has fully reviewed your application. This protects you from any legal action and also saves funds you might later invest into an advertising strategy if your first application is unsuccessful for some reason.

Related: 9 different advertising techniques and how they work

4. Wait for the IPO to send you a certificate of registration

When you trademark a business name or logo, you require an official certificate of registration from the IPO before you may use your trademark. This is because trademarks are legally binding and used to prevent other organisations from using similar names or logos in their advertising campaigns. Businesses need this certificate so that they may use their trademark with confidence to prevent others from infringing on their activities. Without it, there's no way for you to prove that you own the rights to your name or logo, which may damage your brand's reputation.

Related: 8 types of advertising media (with definition and benefits)

5. Register as a limited company

When trademarking a business name or logo, it's often recommended to register as a limited company. This is only possible after receiving a certificate of registration. This is because your status as a limited company helps you protect your brand while also making it easier for you to do business in the future.

To do this, go to Companies House, which is the official government website that handles company registrations. Click on 'register a company' and then click on 'start a new company'. From there, complete all the fields on the form provided. This generally involves disclosing your name, address, email address, telephone number and company name. If you have any directors or shareholders, it's necessary to also provide their details. Once complete, click ‘submit' at the bottom of the page. This takes you back to the Companies House homepage, where you may print off your certificate of incorporation.

6. Apply for a trademark on your company's name/logo

Applying for a trademark on your company's name and logo lets you secure your brand identity. This allows you to begin building up a reputation for your brand, which attracts customers. It also ensures that no other businesses use your name or logo, which may lead to confusion amongst customers and potential clients. The process of applying for a trademark is fairly straightforward if you have the right information on hand. There are two ways to apply for a trademark on your company's name or logo:

Via an online application

If you've recently become a limited company, the next step is to apply for a trademark on your company's name and/or logo. To do this online, go to the government website and search how to trademark your business's name/logo. Here, click ‘Register a Trademark' and fill out the requested information. Then, review the information in the ‘Application Checklist' section and ensure all details are correct before clicking ‘Register Now'. The next step is to fill out the necessary information in the required fields and click ‘Next Step'. This lets you review your application details before submission.

Via a paper application form

You may also apply for a trademark on your company's name or logo via a paper application form. To do this, you fill out an application form and pay a fee. You can find the application form on the IPO website. This is also where you find information about the fees associated with your application. Once you've completed the form, it needs signing by someone with the authority to bind your company, such as the director. You then send it to the IPO by post, along with any supporting documentation required.

What happens when you trademark a business name and logo?

Trademarking a name and logo provides a layer of protection for businesses. Most importantly, if someone else tries to use the same name or logo for their company, they may only do so if they have proof that they were using it before you registered it. Without this proof, they may be infringing on your trademark. This usually means that the offending business receives a cease-and-desist letter demanding that they stop using it immediately or face legal action.

What are the benefits associated with trademarking a business's name or logo?

The benefits associated with trademarking a business's name or logo include:

Protecting the value of a brand

Trademarking a business's name or logo protects the value of a brand by giving the trademark owner exclusive rights to use that name or logo. This means that no other entity may use that name or logo in their branding unless they've successfully obtained permission from the trademark owner, which may involve paying royalties or licensing fees. The benefit of this is that it prevents other companies from freeriding on a brand, which may hurt the original business.

Related: What are royalties? (Definition, types, examples and FAQs)

Helping a business avoid legal issues

Trademarking a business's name or logo helps you avoid legal issues by providing legal protection for its brand, name and logo. This is because trademark law protects brands in two main ways. The first is that it prevents unauthorised use of the brand, which protects both its image and its integrity. The second way is that trademarking helps to prevent consumer confusion about the source of goods or services. This means that customers know exactly what they're getting when placing an order with a business.

Related: What is a brand image? (Plus importance and how-to guide)

Giving a new business credibility

Trademarking a business's name and logo is a way for start-ups to establish credibility. This is because it allows entrepreneurs to establish their company as an authority in its field and creates a sense of trust for customers. Trademarking also makes it difficult for competitors to steal a brand's identity, which is especially helpful if an entrepreneur is starting out with very little capital. This is because they need every advantage when competing for customers against bigger companies with more resources than them.

Please note that none of the companies, institutions or organisations mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.

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