West Chester, PA asked in Trademark and Business Law for Pennsylvania

Q: When filling out a trademark form should I put my name or the companys name as the owner of the mark as a sole proprietr

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1 Lawyer Answer
Dane E. Johnson
Dane E. Johnson
  • Trademarks Lawyer
  • Portland, OR

A: A sole proprietorship is not a business organization separate from its owner. This means that there is no legal “person” involved except the proprietor, so there is nobody else who could own property in their own name. A small business owner might register a “doing business as” name, but that’s not the same as setting up a legal entity distinct from the owner. Unlike organizing a limited liability company or incorporating, registering a DBA would not create an entity able to own property like a trademark.

Protecting trademarks and other intellectual property is an important component of planning for a successful business. So is deciding whether the benefits of setting up a separate company (such as liability protection, the ability to attract capital, and the ability to sell or continue a business after the owner is no longer involved) are worth the expense. Consider meeting with a business lawyer licensed in your state who can review your personal situation and advise you about the best options.

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