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Incrtalent

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So I go to an accountant, and he tells me right off I should not have filed a general partnership, but rather an S-Corp, and I have about a week and a half to do so. I do it, and we wind up with the name "Moonlit Gardens." However, our product line is called "Just Imagine..." At first, I thought we would have to file a d/b/a in order to continue to conduct business as "Just Imagine...", but then I realized...hey. General Mills makes "Captain Crunch" and assorted other cereals. Why would I have to file a d/b/a? Couldn't I just continue to market "Just Imagine..." as manufactured by "Moonlit Gardens?"

I don't know. I wonder if I should talk to an attorney, but I can't afford it. And if I do keep the name "Just Imagine..." for this product line, (bath and body care), do I have to trademark the name, or is it okay as is?

Anybody who's in the know, step right up!
 

Tabitha

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You file an SCorp if you are incorperated. Have you been legaly incorperated?

We LLC'ed a couple years ago under the name Texas Art Spot & it umbrellas both our craft mall & my line of bath products by a different name. We are LLC'ed but file a domestic partnership of 2 or more.
 

Incrtalent

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We just filed through IncorporateTime to form a corporation and file as an S-Corp. But we want to continue to have our bath and body products use the name Just Imagine.

Doyou have any idea how we can do this?
 

Tabitha

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Your corp can have many sub areas. Like I said, My LLC is Texas Art Spot, my craft mall is The Art Spot & my bath Line is Polly Wog pPatch but they are both divsions of Texas Art Spot LLC. It is my understanding that an LLC or Corp has 1 name but can have several interets with other assorted names & functions workin under it's umbrella. I am no lawyer, but that is what we gathered when we made our descision to LLC.
 

Incrtalent

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Did you have to do anything special to register or trademark those names? That's what I'm unclear on.
 

WilsonFamilyPicnic

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if you llc or incorporate, the name of the business is protected.

my understanding:if you design a special line of products like "little bo peep" kiddie products, you would have to trademark the name or anyone can call their kidddie products by that name. i don't know how it would work if someone wanted to form a company by the name "little bo peep", i think it would be protected from use if you have it trademarked.
 
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that is not necessarily true. You have to register your name as a "trademark" so no one else can take it from you. even if your a corporation.
 

Tabitha

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Part of what they do for you when you pay a company to set up your LLC or corp is to register/trademark your LLC or Corp name , or at least they *should*. I believe you would have to register or trademark any additional names or phrases you want to own/protect.
 

WilsonFamilyPicnic

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If you LLC or incorp. in a state, no other business in that state can use that as their business name. But that is a good point about the trademark, it may be your business name that no one else can use as a name, but you may be right about trademarking so that no one can use that name for their product or advertising.

And to throw out another degree of difficulty: If you don't register it as a trademark can someone in a neighboring state form a business there with your name?

We need a lawyer on here....aren't there any lawyers out there that make soap?!?!?!
 

Tabitha

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Also, trademarks can be specific in industries. You may trademark a Little Bo Peep line of children's bath products buy someone else may trademark a Little Bo Peep line of clothing or name a new breed of Dog Little Bo Peep Mini Poodles. Trademarks & copywrites do not always cross all arenas. I have done 0 research on copywrite/trademark across industry lines.
 

Incrtalent

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Well, the problem here is a tricky one. We didn't want to incorporate "Just Imagine..." as we already have our packaging (sort of, but that's another story) in place, and didn't want to have to put the "Inc." after it. Also, we hope one day to add additional products, (perhaps even have a retail store/gift shop ourselves). It is far-sighted right now, but that's what I'm shooting for eventually, and I hate having to do things twice. (I've already made that particular mistake about a thousand times so far.)

I thought that a generic coroprate name, "Moonlit Gardens" would just about cover the gamut, and we could continue using "Just Imagine..." as our product line, "manufactured by...Moonlit Gardens, Inc." But now, I'm thoroughly confused as to: would I have to have a separate logo for each? (I.e., logo for product packaging, PLUS corporate logo?) Would I have to copyright/TM the name Just Imagine? Etc., etc., ad nauseum. I suppose I'll need some legal advice..and soon, but I'm already up to my ears. I've only been at this six months. I have about six retail stores carrying my products now, and I have yet to delve into things like...gee. Insurance. UPC codes. Accountants. (Just had to hire one). Quickbooks Pro Advisor (just had to hire one of those, too). And the list just goes on. This with no financing and VERY short pockets. Add to that complete exhaustion from trying to do everything myself, and I'm nearing burnout. So I was trying to cut some corners with my more experienced friends in deciphering some of this mess! The problem, I suppose, is that I'm a very LITTLE business, (remember those Capital One Commercials? I'm smaller than him), trying to think and act like the large company I hope to someday be. It's maddening. Be gentle ya'll. I'm plumb tuckered out.
 
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WilsonFamilyPicnic said:
If you LLC or incorp. in a state, no other business in that state can use that as their business name. But that is a good point about the trademark, it may be your business name that no one else can use as a name, but you may be right about trademarking so that no one can use that name for their product or advertising.

And to throw out another degree of difficulty: If you don't register it as a trademark can someone in a neighboring state form a business there with your name?

We need a lawyer on here....aren't there any lawyers out there that make soap?!?!?!

This very thing happened to me.. a person not only too my name, but made products too..now they are a supplier....
Yes, you may register it locally..because of your DBA...which is ok..and if something comes up it will help you in court. But Nationwide (NOT including Canada) Getting a Trademark will protect your names, tag line etc.
When a new name is submitted they do a very good scan of all their registered names to make sure yours do not match with anyone elses. They can also do your Logo for extra money of course..
This way even if something similar ...very similar the newest company cant copy you and will have to chance.. if you see anyone or hear anyone using it.. and your in question..thats almost a slam dunk of the other peson changing their info..
 

IanT

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I know an easy way to trademark stuff would be to just send yourself a sealed envelope with your biz plan/name/photos of product...DONT OPEN it , if you ever need to go to court to prove something...thats something Id bring along, because its postmarked (that means if someone comes up with "Just Imagine" a year later....you have proof you did it first!)
 

NeosoulSister

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IanT said:
I know an easy way to trademark stuff would be to just send yourself a sealed envelope with your biz plan/name/photos of product...DONT OPEN it , if you ever need to go to court to prove something...thats something Id bring along, because its postmarked (that means if someone comes up with "Just Imagine" a year later....you have proof you did it first!)
I don't think the "poor man's copyright" can really protect names/other stuff. Check out this from snopes.com

http://www.snopes.com/legal/postmark.asp

It also gives a link to the US copyright office in the body.

Hope this helps.

I did register my business name, but I did not copyright it or trademark it. That costs a bit of cash that I don't have right now (I think it's at least 300 dollars.)
 

IanT

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aha! yes that helps, glad you showed that to me! I didnt know that it was untrue (because my FATHER told me about it lol...and hes an entrepreneur) Im sure it couldnt hurt, but it looks like you have to wind up doing it like everyone else and registering/paying fee/copywriting all of your stuff....same here no cash for any of that at this point but hopefully soon :)


thanks again!
 

Tabitha

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I have 2 different friends (who did not know each other) that both registered trade marks in the very same month, both in Texas. They were both flower shops. One registered Urban Flower, the other regsitered Urban Flowers and Gift Market...
 

IanT

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does it count as the same name since one is plural and the other isnt??


thats quite a coincidence!
 
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