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How can I prevent someone from using my trade name?

Is your trade name, the name of your company, protected across the US?  What is a trademark and is this something that is important for your business?  Lets say you have been in a business for some time and find out there is another business by your exact name name doing what you do, perhaps in a different state? The good and the bad of the intent is that anyone doing anything can make a website or internet listing that will come up when the name is searched, and you find out that you are not the only one with the interesting name you "made up." Filing for a trademark can give you that edge you need. A federally registered trademark covers the whole United States. Once registered you will have superior rights to send out your cease and desist letter to the other business. While there are rare situations that can defeat a trademark (for example the other business has been around many more years that yours and had an established reputation in at least it's local community, there are what's "called common law rights." But again with the internet there is generally no more "local community" for businesses that gain the majority of their business from the internet. What if you don't have a trademark, what can you do. There are no cross referenced by state for corporate names for example, so it is possible that there can be 50 different companies all with the same name one in every state. Even the internet has conflicting URLs with the .com and .net. It is difficult to claim ownership to the main name absent the extension. Trademark law and conflicting names is tricky. Call me today for a consultation on your specific situation.

Being a "Franchisor" is Completely Different than Running a Successful Business

Before you became a franchisor, as a business person you were primarily focused on the well being and growth of your own business. You were focused upon the people working for you, the products and/or services going out the door, and the profits coming in. As a successful franchisor, you will be focused on adding value to your franchisees and the "brand" or "system" you're developing as a franchisor. Your primary task is to recruit, teach, train and support new and existing franchisees - focusing on their business. You will encounter challenges along the way within THEIR businesses, and help them to work through issues of under-capitalization, poor management and employee issues, recruiting and training problems and marketing initiatives. A successful franchisor is constantly improving their own "product", either expanding the product line offered to the franchisees, or improving the system used to implement the franchise strategy or lower costs through a more efficient supply chain. Successful franchisors enjoy the challenge of not only running their own business, but helping others to do so as well.

Can I Franchise My Business?

What makes a business a good candidate for Franchising? Almost any business can be franchised. Franchising is basically licensing the methods, processes and systems that make up your business. As an experienced California Franchise Counsel,I tell my clients who are wanting to franchise to make sure you have or create these systems of doing business and physically write them down- EVERYTHING: Determining a suitable location, size of site and type of building, negotiating the lease, hiring contractors for the tenant improvements, creating the exact specifications for the layout, design and furnishing of the location, finding the appropriate vendors and suppliers, determining how much inventory to maintain and operate, how to hire and fire employees, how to manage the books, how to market, promote and advertise the business, how to handle returns or refunds, how much insurance to get and types, how to budget for fixed expenses and variable expenses, and about a hundred other things that the client has learned over time with trial and error in establishing their own business. That is the first key to being able to franchise your business, to be able to duplicate it over and over with people other than YOU operating those businesses. Once you must have all your business systems well documented such that you can teach those systems and methods to others, you are in an excellent position to be able to license your business systems. Basically franchising is a teaching business-you will be in the business of teaching others how to do what you have done well.

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