How do I protect my business’s name?

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To protect your North Carolina business’s name, you should consider registering it as a trademark with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). This will give you exclusive rights to use the name for your business in the United States and prevent others from using a similar or identical name.

You can search the USPTO database to see if your business’s name is already in use or is similar to an existing trademark. If your desired name is available, you can file a trademark application with the USPTO.

Additionally, you can also register your business name with the North Carolina Secretary of State’s Office to ensure that no other businesses operating in North Carolina can use the same name. This registration is required for corporations and LLCs, but other business entities may also choose to register their name.

It’s important to note that registering your business name with the Secretary of State’s Office does not provide trademark protection or prevent others from using a similar name outside of North Carolina. Therefore, it’s recommended to also pursue federal trademark registration for broader protection.

You can organize a business with the North Carolina Secretary of State online.

Will Blackton is a business lawyer based in Raleigh, North Carolina. You can reach Will at or (919) 636-5979.

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