Are you a potential entrepreneur considering venturing into starting up your own business? If so, it’s important that you start familiarizing yourself with information on how to succeed in the current business climate right now. Operating a small business requires you to possess the necessary skills to plan and manage the business efficiently and a vision that seeks to grow from nothing to something substantial after a period of time. Here are the top 5 things an entrepreneur needs to know before starting up a small business.
1. A perfect business plan is indispensable.
A business plan is the foundation of any successful company today. It serves to chart out the goals of the business as well as the possible ways of achieving them and acts as a blueprint that outlines the road to the future of any business. It’s also a necessity when seeking financial help to set up your business, hiring future employees, and keeping track on how you run your business once it’s operational.
Business Basics started out as a way to educate would-be and current entrepreneurs on the basics of running a business, and has slowly morphed into a place where we can try to tackle some of the most common questions we get about the ins-and-outs of business ownership. But, after looking through a few old posts, we were surprised we hadn’t delved into a very, very important part of running a business – protecting your intellectual property! To help rectify this, here is the first post in a series looking at IP protection. This week we are going to look at the trademark.
Starting a business is a step by step process – starting with an idea, a business name, and creating a business plan. A business plan includes the purpose of your business and how you will go about marketing or advertising the same. It also includes the expenses, liabilities, assists, budgets, and how your business plans to make a profit and grow. Growth alone is a complicated subject where you have short-term and long-term growth plans based on how well your business is doing. Once you’ve done this, it’s time to address legalities such as licenses, insurance, recruiting employees, etc. Continue reading →
As we make our way closer to the end of the alphabet of our ABC’s of small business, we’re tackling trademarks, which can be a name, design, or logo that distinguish a company and emphasize its uniqueness. Trademarks, as defined by businessdictionary.com, are distinctive instead of descriptive, affixed to the item sold, and registered with the appropriate authority to obtain legal ownership and protection rights. By federally registering your business name or company logo, you’ll receive notice to the public of your claim of ownership on that mark with an additional nationwide legal presumption of ownership, and the exclusive right to use that mark on or in connection with goods or services set in registration. And now that we’ve briefly covered the basics on what a trademark is and how federal registration of the mark works to protect your business and brand, we’re going to briefly cover the additional steps involved in trademarking – conducting a trademark search, registering the mark, and filing for a trademark watch. Continue reading →
For our ABC’s of MyCorp this week, we’re focusing on N for Non Profit which is also referred to as an NPO for non profit organizations. As stated on businessdictionary,com, non profits are generally charities, associations, and other organizations formed to further cultural, educational, religious, professional or public service objectives.
Before forming and looking into funding a non profit organization of your own, certain considerations need to be put into place to ensure that the formation is detailed and clear in the societal issue it is working on addressing. You can find out more information about the following eight points at our MyCorp “Forming an NPO” learning center! Continue reading →
If you are passionate about your nonprofit charity or business, branding your charity is an invaluable tool that can yield significant economic benefits. Some of the most well known nonprofits in the world, like United Way and the American Red Cross, are charitable entities that are just as well known as brands that do make a profit, like Coca Cola and Nike. How does a nonprofit translate into dollars and cents? Several companies, such as the American Red Cross, have brands so reputable that they license out their trademark to “for profit” enterprises. An example of this licensing in action is a seal of approval – if you go into a grocery store and see a Red Cross logo on a cosmetic item, it has been officially “certified” by the American Red Cross. Each time that product is sold, the American Red Cross earns a royalty. The American Red Cross generates a significant amount of revenue via this model.
There are numerous advantages to securing federal registration of a trademark. Perhaps the most important advantage is that federally registered trademarks are national in scope, regardless of the actual geographic use made of the mark. This national scope contrasts greatly with the limited geographic range of common law trademarks.Additional substantive benefits received through federal registration include:
The incontestable status that a mark can achieve after five years of registration, which serves to eliminate most arguments that the registrant does not have the exclusive right to utilize the mark;
The right to use the ® symbol in connection with the mark, which may deter potential infringers;
Increased ease of discovery by those doing trademark searches, which helps to prevent the adoption of confusingly similar marks by third parties;
The right to sue for infringement in federal courts;
The ability to recover profits, damages and costs for infringement, including the possibility of receiving treble damages in certain circumstances;
The ability to recover attorney fees in infringement actions; and
The ability to have the customs service block the importation of goods bearing an infringing mark.