How to Trademark a Company

(3 minutes to read)

Many limited company contractors may assume that once a business has been registered they automatically own the legal rights to the name and logo, however, in order to protect your brand, you will need to obtain a registered trademark, which is easy to do for a small fee.

After deciding to become a limited company contractor, there will be a number of steps to follow in order to complete your start up.

Firstly, you will need to come up with a name for your business – one that sounds professional, isn’t already taken by another company and doesn’t contain any offensive words or expressions.

When you have a name and have directors, shareholders etc. put in place, you will need to register your business with Companies House.

This comes with a small fee and may take up to 48 hours to set up. You will also need to have the following information at hand to complete registering your company:

  • The company’s name and address
  • The names and addresses of directors, company secretary and shareholders.

When you register, you will need to arrange the following:

  • A ‘memorandum of association’, which is a legal statement signed by all initial shareholders agreeing to form the company.
  • An ‘articles of association’, which is a set of written rules about running the company agreed by the shareholders, directors and the company secretary.

At the point of completing registering the company, you may assume that you now own all legal rights to the name, logo and any slogans – however, this is not the case at all, so in order to have these rights, you will need a registered trademark.

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How do I trademark my company?

When you register your trademark you will have the right to:

  • Sell and license your brand
  • Put the ® symbol next to your brand, which will let people know that it belongs to you
  • Take legal action against anyone who might use your brand without your permission

Firstly, you will need to ensure that your trademark isn’t already registered.

The easiest way to go about this is to search the trademarks database before sending off an application – checking to see if anyone else has already registered an identical or even similar trademark for the same or similar goods or services.

It is possible to ask the holder of an existing trademark for permission to register yours, however, they must provide you with a ‘letter of consent’, which must be sent with your application.

It’s worth noting that you can’t change your trademark once you’ve applied and the fees are non-refundable. In order to apply you will need the following information:

  • Details of what you want to register (such as a word or illustration)
  • The trademark classes you want to register in (such as food and drink etc)

For a standard online application you will need to pay £170 and then £50 for each additional class.

After you’ve applied you can expect to receive feedback on your application within 20 days and if the examiner has no objection, your application will be published in the ‘Trademarks journal’ for two months, with anyone being able to see and oppose it.

If someone does oppose your application you can either withdraw, defend your application or talk to the person making the opposition, however, you won’t be able to register your trademark until objections are resolved.

Once you have your trademark approved, it will last 10 years.

What trademark am I allowed to register?

Of course, a trademark must be unique and can contain words, sounds, logos, colours or any combination of these.

However, there are rules as to what you can’t register as a trademark.

For example, it can’t:

  • Be offensive (swear words or offensive images)
  • Describe the goods or services it will relate to
  • Be misleading in any way (say if you used the word ‘organic’ in the trademark, but the goods are in fact not organic)
  • Be a 3-dimensional shape associated with your trademark
  • Be too common and non distinctive
  • Look too similar to state symbols, such as flags or hallmarks

Thinking of working as a contractor? Give Sophie a call on 01442 795 100 or email sophie.lewis@dolanaccountancy.com.

Why Dolan Accountancy?

Dolan Accountancy was set up by Simon J Dolan, the man behind the well-known brand SJD Accountancy. With over 25 years experience in the contracting marketing, Dolan Accountancy has the heritage, reputation and credibility you can trust. Working closely with our sister company, Contractor Umbrella, it means we can offer one low cost, fixed fee package at £95 + VAT per month. This gives you the flexibility of using both our Limited Company Accountancy Services and our award winning Umbrella Service, for one inclusive cost. We don’t believe in tiered packages or hidden extra fees, instead we aim to give you everything you need, including:

  • Free Company Formation – This is where it all begins. Once you have decided on an available name, we will form your company free of charge (if using our accountancy services) and it will be ready for you to use in as little as three hours.
  • Free use of Contractor Umbrella – With changes in Public Sector IR35 Legislation we understand that sometimes you are required to contract via an umbrella company. We will keep your limited company ticking over, while you work margin free via our sister company, Contractor Umbrella.
  • A Dedicated Accountant – Your accountant will be there for any company or personal tax advice that you require. We will never outsource work, even to internal teams.
  • Free Access to FreeAgent – The founder behind the multi award winning FreeAgent platform was one of Simon’s first clients, therefore it only seems fitting that we offer all of our clients access to FreeAgent, free of charge.
  • Free Business Banking – We have decided to waive our commission so our clients can use Tide free of charge for the first year.
  • Unlimited IR35 Status Reviews – We will review all of your contracts for IR35 purposes and provide you with our professional opinion as to its status.
  • Free Registered and Director’s Service Office Address – Sometimes you just don’t want your home address on display at Companies House. When you sign up to our accountancy services, we will offer the use of our address as an alternative.
  • Your Business and Personal Taxation Needs – This includes Company Accounts, Director’s Personal Tax Return, VAT Returns, Payroll, Corporation Tax and Dividend advice, to name just a few.
  • Same day payments- We offer same day payments as standard providing funds are received into our account by 9am, for no additional fee.

If you’d like to find out more about how Dolan Accountancy can help you and your business, please give us a call on 01442 795100 or email sophie.lewis@dolanaccountancy.com or jaime.thorpe@dolanaccountancy.com.

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