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How DO I Register A (Game) Company Name?


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#1 Michael Spiral   Members   -  Reputation: 102

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Posted 18 July 2011 - 10:02 AM

This may have been covered in another topic, and I'd be surprised if it wasn't, but I would like to know about registering a (game) company name.

Let's say, hypothetically I wanted my start-up to bare the name of "Clown Baby Software". Would I start at the copyright office? Also, how far along/legit would this studio have to be before it is eligible to register its name? Thanks!

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#2 braindigitalis   Members   -  Reputation: 150

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Posted 18 July 2011 - 10:13 AM

This depends on your country of origin.

Here in the UK you register your company name at companies house (www.companieshouse.gov.uk), pay a fee, and your company name is a legally recognised corporate entity with all the legal status of such.
However, you will need to submit yearly profit and loss reports etc, it is best to consider hiring an accountant for this.

In america, i believe the rules and regulations are vastly different. Research it, speak to your bank (because you will most likely also want to open a business account, rather than a personal account, registered as the same business name) and also possibly speak to a lawyer...

#3 Tom Sloper   Moderators   -  Reputation: 9049

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Posted 18 July 2011 - 10:44 AM

If you're in the USA, check with your local city's business department. And go to your local SBA office, they're full of great free answers. http://sba.gov
-- Tom Sloper
Sloperama Productions
Making games fun and getting them done.
www.sloperama.com

Please do not PM me. My email address is easy to find, but note that I do not give private advice.

#4 Michael Spiral   Members   -  Reputation: 102

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Posted 18 July 2011 - 11:12 AM

Awesome guys, this is great info. Thanks for the quick response, too!

#5 Obscure   Moderators   -  Reputation: 174

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Posted 20 July 2011 - 03:48 AM

You should be aware that setting up a company (such as a Limited company registered at Companies House in the UK) is not the same as protecting a trading name. For that you would need to register a trademark.
Dan Marchant - Business Development Consultant
www.obscure.co.uk

#6 samoth   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 4628

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Posted 20 July 2011 - 04:51 AM

You should be aware that setting up a company (such as a Limited company registered at Companies House in the UK) is not the same as protecting a trading name. For that you would need to register a trademark.

Very true, that. Also note that one implies the other in some countries but one does not imply the other in other countries.

Plus, registering a trademark is "harmless", it costs a little and that's it. Registering a company means the tax office will start sending you letters and demand more or less nasty things (filling out forms and sending reports in the good case, advance payments for income that you don't have in the bad case!).

#7 Michael Spiral   Members   -  Reputation: 102

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Posted 20 July 2011 - 10:53 AM


You should be aware that setting up a company (such as a Limited company registered at Companies House in the UK) is not the same as protecting a trading name. For that you would need to register a trademark.

Very true, that. Also note that one implies the other in some countries but one does not imply the other in other countries.

Plus, registering a trademark is "harmless", it costs a little and that's it. Registering a company means the tax office will start sending you letters and demand more or less nasty things (filling out forms and sending reports in the good case, advance payments for income that you don't have in the bad case!).


So to make certain I am getting all of this correctly, I could secure the name "Clown Baby Software" for a studio prior to registering the business? Wouldn't I need to prove I have a reason for trademarking the name?

...Then again Disney copyrighted "seal team six" w/o reason after they got Bin Laden. <_<

#8 Tom Sloper   Moderators   -  Reputation: 9049

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Posted 20 July 2011 - 03:12 PM

1. So to make certain I am getting all of this correctly, I could secure the name "Clown Baby Software" for a studio prior to registering the business? Wouldn't I need to prove I have a reason for trademarking the name?
2. ...Then again Disney copyrighted "seal team six" w/o reason

1. If you're in the USA, check with your local city's business department. And go to your local SBA office, they're full of great free answers. http://sba.gov
2. Disney withdrew their application when they saw they were getting bad press from the attempt
-- Tom Sloper
Sloperama Productions
Making games fun and getting them done.
www.sloperama.com

Please do not PM me. My email address is easy to find, but note that I do not give private advice.

#9 Michael Spiral   Members   -  Reputation: 102

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Posted 20 July 2011 - 03:20 PM


1. So to make certain I am getting all of this correctly, I could secure the name "Clown Baby Software" for a studio prior to registering the business? Wouldn't I need to prove I have a reason for trademarking the name?
2. ...Then again Disney copyrighted "seal team six" w/o reason

1. If you're in the USA, check with your local city's business department. And go to your local SBA office, they're full of great free answers. http://sba.gov
2. Disney withdrew their application when they saw they were getting bad press from the attempt


Thanks for the link again! I finally came upon the forms for my state here:

http://www.sos.ca.gov/business/be/name-availability.htm

Looks simple enough and it allows you to list up to three choices (backups) of name.

#10 Tom Sloper   Moderators   -  Reputation: 9049

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Posted 20 July 2011 - 04:53 PM

Thanks for the link again! I finally came upon the forms for my state

Excellent. You found out stuff yourself. Good job.
-- Tom Sloper
Sloperama Productions
Making games fun and getting them done.
www.sloperama.com

Please do not PM me. My email address is easy to find, but note that I do not give private advice.

#11 kdog77   Members   -  Reputation: 229

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Posted 21 July 2011 - 05:59 PM

FYI - reserving a name in CA only holds that name for 60 days and you can't use "Inc", "Corp" or "LLC" unless you register. There are different forms and fees for C-Corps, S-Corps, LLCs and DBAs. Depending on the nature of your company (e.g. how many shareholders, partners, employees, etc) you may want to consider consulting an attorney to help you select the type of entity you want to set up and with filing the proper documents. You can use online filing services such as LegalZoom, but they tend to provide only bare-bones vanilla templates.

BTW - good luck with your new company.
Kevin Reilly
Email: kevin.reilly.law@gmail.com
Twitter: kreilly77

#12 Michael Spiral   Members   -  Reputation: 102

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Posted 26 July 2011 - 10:44 AM

Thanks everyone for your help in this. Apart from my needs, it is good to have this information available to others who want to know more about registering a game company name. :)

#13 Obscure   Moderators   -  Reputation: 174

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Posted 26 July 2011 - 10:53 AM

So to make certain I am getting all of this correctly, I could secure the name "Clown Baby Software" for a studio prior to registering the business? Wouldn't I need to prove I have a reason for trademarking the name?

In the UK you can register a trademark if you use it to trade or intend to use it to trade. I don't know if there is some requirement to prove that you intend to trade - I assume that there is a limited time from registration of the mark to commencing its use in trade.
Dan Marchant - Business Development Consultant
www.obscure.co.uk




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