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How Your First Lease Is Linked To Your First Trademark Application

Many small business owners legitimately conclude that they don’t need a trademark registration for their business name and logo. Then they sign their first lease and they apply for trademark protection.

Why is this?

For aesthetic reasons, many landlords require tenants to put up signs with identical fonts (lettering styles). The exception is you are often permitted to create a sign with your business’s logo, if you have a registered trademark.

State trademarks take about a month to obtain and give your business the exclusive right to use that name or logo throughout the state. This is true even if you only have one location.

Federal trademarks can take a year or more to obtain. If you are engaged in interstate commerce (eg: attract customers via a website or send out marketing materials to Virginia or South Carolina), your business will have the exclusive right to use that name or logo throughout the country, even if you only have one physical location.

If you are contemplating leasing business space for the first time, contact me and let’s talk about it.

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