Steps to Protect Your Business
Protecting your business is key in being successful as a business owner. It’s important to protect various business assets to maintain your company’s name and brand. The last thing you would want is to find out that someone has not only stolen your business name but that they’ve purchased your website (because you let it expire), they stole your logo (because it wasn’t a registered trademark) and that they’ve been posing as an insurance agent (what your business sells). So how do you protect your business? Follow these 4 steps:
- Your Business Name – You might not realize just how much of an investment your business name is. Think about the time and money spent on your business name…do you have signage? a great online presence? a website? a logo? business cards? other printed materials? and what about the overall brand recognition you’ve created? By registering your company, you will have some protection because most states do not allow official company names that are very similar. If you practice business in several states or online, you’re best bet is to have your name trademarked.
- Protecting Various Assets – Consider forming an LLC. It might help consolidate everything that you need to protect under a single official name.
- Monitoring Your Online Presence – Another way you can make sure no one is illegally posing as you is by monitoring your online presence. You can do this via Google Alerts and other various listening programs. Also, be aware if strange things start happening such as a lot of complaints or negative reviews, emails or reviews by people you don’t know etc.
- Domain Name & Registration – If you let your domain name registration expire, then it gives anyone the opportunity to purchase the website. The best advice I can offer for this is to mark the expiration date and set it up for a renewal period a week before on a calendar…or set up automatic renewal. By pre-planning the renewal, you can prevent someone from purchasing the domain and making it theirs or charging you a high price to sell the domain name back to you.