Once you start a company and file your company’s name with your state’s Secretary of State office, that company name is yours, and you can use it wherever you like across the globe. This is different from filing a trademark. A business name registration does not grant you trademark rights. It merely means that a particular state allows you do to business under that name. But, and this can be a little confusing, a business name can also be a trademark. It all depends on how you use it. If you use your business name to identify the source of your goods and services and distinguish them from the goods of another, that’s trademark use. To enjoy the nationwide rights offered by a federal trademark registration, however, you must file an application and receive a registration from the USPTO (United States Patent and Trademark Office).
It’s important to seek professional advice when making this decision, but it’s also important to have a general understanding of the choices available. There are basically six options.