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The importance of trademarking your restaurant name

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You will make it in the restaurant industry. You are savvy, driven, knowledgeable and well-connected. You know that the best restaurants have a certain appeal embedded in their name, so you pour all your creative energy into the selection of a word or two.

Once you have found the perfect name, take a breath before throwing confetti in the air and popping that bottle of champagne. There are several legal steps that you must take before this idea actually becomes yours.

Research your restaurant name

First, conduct a thorough trademark search. There are many words and combinations of words to choose from, but you need to make certain you are not stepping on someone else's toes.

For example, if you proposed restaurant name contains the word "craft," run away as fast as you can. Even if you have only thought about using the name, Tom Colicchio already has your number and is about to dial. The celebrity chef is notorious for aggressively protecting the name of his famous restaurant, Craft.

Once you have identified the name you wish to use and confirmed that it will hold up to legal scrutiny, take the next step of securing it for your use. Note that registering a "trademark" is different from registering a "trade name."

Benefits of trademarking your restaurant name

With any luck, your restaurant will thrive. But while the money stacks up, so will the legal challenges. As soon as you become successful, everyone will want to grab onto your coattails, hoping to nab a piece of your profits.

  • Protection. A trademark can protect you from others copying your business name and brand. It can also ensure that you have not encroached on another business: saving you big money and a lot of hassle.
  • Branding. Trademarking doesn't stop at the restaurant's name. Trademark registration helps protect your logo, service mark and brand as well.

As a wise entrepreneur, you know how important trademarks can be. Putting the time, energy and money into protecting yours is a step toward protecting our future.

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