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How do you copyright a company's name?

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You can get copyright forms for your stuff at most local libraries... IIRC, they want the first and last 25 pages of source code for a copyright.

As for starting a business and all that... gamasutra.com has a series of articles, and I think gameslice had a great article as well.

Mason McCuskey
Spin Studios

[This message has been edited by mason (edited December 08, 1999).]

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You might also want to check with the local chapter of the Small Business Association. Alot of them run crash courses in starting your own business, and have the advantage of being able to address state, county, city issues that are a little harder to cover in a book.

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You should be able to find most of the forms you need at your local library.

Registering the company name is easy and cheap within your state. If you want to trademark it, you'll need a lawyer and about $1K US.

You cannot copyright a title to a work. You can trademark it (see above), I believe.

Copyright forms are available at the library. I forget the fee involved, but last I knew it was pretty low. You really don't *have* to submit the form for any work of yours to be copyrighted, but it's up to you how you want to play that.

Samu Games

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Guest Anonymous Poster

Well, since nobody answered your question directly, I might as well try:

You probably have to go to your City Hall (county clerk) to register a
company name. Fill out a form, state the nature of your business, (computer
services, whatever, etc.) and pay like $10 or so bucks.

But this doesn't guarantee that the name you picked is yours. It might
be already registered by someone else in another state. They don't check.
YOU have to. Otherwise you could get sued. That's why there are companies
that can do company name searches for $300 bucks and up for you. You could
probably try this to do a quick preliminary search for a dot com name:


Things like taxes probably depends on what type of business you setup
(sole proprietorship,partnership,llc,corporation, etc) and the state
that you live in.

I would suggest that you fill out a Certificate of Assumed Name form so you
don't have to use your real name (you will use your company's name). And get
a P.O. mailbox so you don't have to give out your home address. There are
also companies that do credit card transactions, take orders, answer the phone,
etc., all for small businesses like you.

And check out your state government's web pages (Yahoo under Regional U.S.
States, etc). You usually can find info about Small Businesses that are
specific to your state.

But you don't have to start up a legitimate business to sell games! People
sell shareware all the time without registering for a company name. You
will simply use your own name.


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Ok, I got a reply!

Um, I do want to work under the company's name.
I want to try for a retail game, rather than shareware.
I don't want to make the game, then change the name because some HUGE company decided to take it after I did and trademarked it, but I don't have $1K to spend. (I might not be able to do it, I don't know)

I want a partnership type thing, 'cause I don't want to go through the trouble of setting up anything else. (there are 2 of us)

Can the company have it's own bank account, etc., and pay us salaries if it is a partnership?

How is the taxes handled for that?

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You should look into getting a book on starting your own business. There is a LOT you are going to have to learn to do it, and keep it up.

There are many lines of books for people with no previous knowledge or experience though.


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I am starting a game development company, and have some questions about registering company names.

How do you register your company, and what do you do to trademark the name?

How do you copyright a game's title and the game?

What about taxes?

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