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PhilipMichaelNorris

How DO I Register A (Game) Company Name?

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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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braindigitalis    18902
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...

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Obscure    175
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.

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[quote name='Obscure' timestamp='1311155301' post='4837867']
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.
[/quote]Very true, that. Also note that [i]one implies the other[/i] in some countries but [i]one does not imply the other[/i] 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!).

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[quote name='samoth' timestamp='1311159072' post='4837886']
[quote name='Obscure' timestamp='1311155301' post='4837867']
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.
[/quote]Very true, that. Also note that [i]one implies the other[/i] in some countries but [i]one does not imply the other[/i] 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!).
[/quote]

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 [i]prove [/i]I have a reason for trademarking the name?

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

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Tom Sloper    16040
[quote name='Michael Spiral' timestamp='1311180789' post='4838035']
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 [i]prove [/i]I have a reason for trademarking the name?
2. ...Then again Disney copyrighted "seal team six" w/o reason
[/quote]
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

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[quote name='Tom Sloper' timestamp='1311196375' post='4838138']
[quote name='Michael Spiral' timestamp='1311180789' post='4838035']
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 [i]prove [/i]I have a reason for trademarking the name?
2. ...Then again Disney copyrighted "seal team six" w/o reason
[/quote]
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. [url="http://sba.gov"]http://sba.gov[/url]
2. Disney withdrew their application when they saw they were getting bad press from the attempt
[/quote]

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.

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Tom Sloper    16040
[quote name='Michael Spiral' timestamp='1311196809' post='4838143']
Thanks for the link again! I finally came upon the forms for my state[/quote]
Excellent. You found out stuff yourself. Good job.

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kdog77    229
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.

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Obscure    175
[quote name='Michael Spiral' timestamp='1311180789' post='4838035']
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 [i]prove [/i]I have a reason for trademarking the name?
[/quote]
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.

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