Dickson, TN asked in Copyright for Tennessee

Q: Can I have a Business Name, LLC different from my Trademark Brand?

I want to be Legally Registered with my Business Name, LLC but my domain name and product Trademark to be a different name. Is this possible? Also, what legal issues do I need to worry about and any other added information would be amazing. Im selling clothes and the name is a little edgy and dont want it to be with the secretary of state as the LLC name.

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1 Lawyer Answer
Paul E. Tennison
Paul E. Tennison
  • Intellectual Property Lawyer
  • Nashville, TN
  • Licensed in Tennessee

A: I recommend you consult with a business attorney to discuss in greater detail. In general, you could register an LLC as a certain name and use another moniker to denote the business. This is fairly common practice, many businesses operate and trademark certain names while the LLC could be something different. You have spotted many legal issues here. The first is what to file with the secretary of state. You may want to consider including the edgy name as a d/b/a (doing business as). A second is about domain name. A third is about Trademark law. Have you already trademarked your design or are you considering trademarking? The Trademark office will reject trademarks is something similar has already been trademarked so if you do not have one yet, there is no guarantee that what you apply for will be accepted. A Trademark attorney can help you understand the strength of a potential mark, and conduct a trademark search to ensure a similar mark is unlikely already registered. Other potential legal issues relating to selling clothes includes: contract law, consumer protection laws, employment law (if your company has employees), licensing issues relating to what is printed on the shirts. Good luck!

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