Brand News: Why is a Secretary of State Filing Not Enough?

Richard Rimer

April 9, 2023

In a prior post I mentioned that your brand could have troubles if you thought organizing your company with the Secretary of State gave you permission to use your company name as a brand. This post unpacks one of the reasons for this.

Brand Protection primarily concerns whether or not brands used by different companies would cause confusion among consumers. This is a detailed analysis and Secretaries of State cannot perform this review for every company in their state.

Many brands in the marketplace are not the names of companies. For example, when you go into a McDonald’s, you can order a Big Mac, a Quarter Pounder, and a Happy Meal. These are all brand names owned by McDonald’s, but are not company names recorded with a Secretary of State.  

As an example, if I went to my Secretary of State to form Happy Meal LLC as the name of my new restaurant, the Secretary of State would never flag this as a problem, but McDonald’s would certainly have a problem with this.

Brands can be tricky. Some professionals can make them powerful to grow your business. I protect them to make sure you  are the only one who benefits from your hard work.