Build, Protect, and Maintain Your Small Business Brand

If you’ve spent years formulating your business model, it’s vital for you to protect your hard work. We’ve compiled the best ways to help protect your brand, streamline regulatory business processes, and ensure your hard work cannot be easily replicated.

Define your brand identity

It’s important to decide what your brand should convey to your audiences. Think about what your model customer should visualize when they hear your brand name. Do you want it to be eco-friendly, professional, artistic? Once settled on a brand persona, many business owners will register a DBA name (Doing Business As). A DBA name allows you to conduct business under a different identity from your formal business entity name or personal name. Multiple businesses can use the same DBA in one state, for instance, a small business owner could use Abby’s Catering Services, LLC as their entity name but operate under Abby’s Food Truck or Abby’s Custom Cakes as the DBA. incorporate.com can help research and file your DBA name to provide greater flexibility and efficiency to your business operations.

File for intellectual property protections

The most commonly protected types of intellectual property (IP) are copyrights, patents, trade secrets, and trademarks. Attorneys may advise IP protection for companies that need to secure a distinctive mark or avoid copyright infringement in the marketplace.

When planning for key operating decisions, it’s important to understand the detailed differences between a trademark and a doing business as (DBA) name. For starters, a trademark is used to identify and distinguish the source of the goods of one party from those of others, and typically requires a lawyer to register the mark, takes time to complete, and costs more than a DBA. A DBA allows an entity to operate under a name that is different from its legal one, can be filed online, and does not require a lawyer, take much time, or cost hundreds of dollars.

Separating personal assets from company assets

After comparing business entity options, many business owners choose to form a limited liability

company (LLC). Like a corporation, an LLC is a good way to “wall off” your personal assets from your company’s liabilities, offering protection for your personal assets in the event of a judgment against your business. For this reason, it’s a better fit for many one- or two-person businesses versus a sole proprietorship or a general partnership. Selecting the right legal structure for your business can save you headaches and financial hassles down the road, so choose wisely. incorporate.com can help you form a corporation or LLC, establish operating agreements, and file documents that allow you to do business in other states.

Appoint a registered agent

Your company is considered to be in good standing only when it has satisfied all of its many state government and tax requirements. An easy way to maintain good standing status is through the incorporate.com Registered Agent service, which is a lot like having a reliable employee focused on keeping your company compliant. Read more about how incorporate.com can help you stay in good standing or obtain a Certificate of Good Standing. You can count on us to monitor your company’s status and ensure that you meet critical time-sensitive deadlines set by local, state, and federal jurisdictions. Every business entity is required to declare and maintain a registered agent in every state where they conduct business, and incorporate.com offers registered agent service in all 50 states. To read more about this service, click here.

Seek legal help

Business attorneys can help provide advice for legal matters when it comes to navigating the operations of the business such as IP protection, complex transactions, taxes, employment, contracts, and specific industry expertise.

Use a consistent brand message

It’s important to have a media presence for a brand to be successful in this digital age. And with that, it’s essential to be consistent across social media platforms as well your websites. It can take up to 11 times for someone to hear about your brand before they actually remember it. If you are not consistent in the media, it can lead to issues or confuse your potential customers. Remember consistency is the key to being remembered.

Monitor your competition and brand

To conquer your market, you should monitor your brand in the marketplace, and your competition.

You can easily monitor your brand with different software that send alerts, like Google AlertsTM, a free app that sends you an email when your brand name is used online. Others include SEMrush, Brand24, and HootsuiteTM.

Monitoring your competition allows you to understand how your company is being talked about in the marketplace, as well as see similar products and services being offered and how they’re marketed. You can monitor your competition by researching their social media, websites, and sometimes even signing up for their emails.

incorporate.com can help

Our team at incorporate.com can help you start, build, and maintain your company as you grow. From the first step of incorporation to expansion into additional states, we’ve helped thousands of businesses reach the next step in their journey. For more information visit www.incorporate.com.