One frequent question I get is whether someone can (or should) own a trademark as an individual, or whether they need a corporation, LLC, or other business entity. When applying to register your trademark, this is a question that you will need to answer. There are some good reasons why you should create a business entity that will own your trademark. This post will review some of these reasons and explain your options when filing a trademark application.
Individual vs. Business Entity Ownership
It is possible for either an individual or business entity to register a trademark. However, your business should own its trademark and corresponding trademark registration for a couple reasons. First, a trademark is a major asset for any business. If you decide to sell the business, you can bet that the buyer will want to own the trademark and registration. In fact, your business will be worth much more if it owns registrations for its associated trademarks.
Also, your business entity may protect you from individual liability (like with a limited liability company). This means that if someone sues you for trademark infringement, only your business assets would be at stake, not your personal assets. Obviously, protection from individual liability is something that you will want to have.
Assignment to a Business Entity
Although having a business entity own your trademark registration is ideal in most cases, clients frequently want to file their application before they set up their business. Especially when they want to file their trademark application on an Intent to Use Basis. That’s okay! This is very common, and there is an easy way to handle it.
If your business entity has not been created before you are ready to file your application, you can file under your name as an individual. Then, once you receive your registration, you can file a trademark assignment. You can assign your rights in the trademark as an individual to your business. This is a relatively straightforward process. Once completed, your business will be the owner of the trademark and corresponding registration!
Are You Ready to File Your Application or Assign a Trademark Registration to Your Business?
If you are not sure who the owner of your trademark application should be, you should speak with a trademark attorney. You also would want to work with an attorney on drafting a trademark assignment if you are ready to assign a registration to your business. For help with either of these items, please call me at (314) 479-3668, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or complete the contact form found on this page to schedule your free initial consultation today. I look forward to speaking with you.