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

In my 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 companies operate under aliases. These aliases are often recorded with clerks of county courts as DBAs, or “doing business as.”  A Secretary of State would never see these DBAs when it checks to see if your name is available to be used as a company name in that state.

As an example, Acme Inc. may have filed a DBA as Smith’s Gizmos. I could organize a company named Smith’s Gizmos LLC and the Secretary of State would never find the DBA filing.  However, Acme could keep me from using Smith’s Gizmos as a brand name. 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.