This episode is a MUST LISTEN! Don’t make the mistake of picking a sugary sweet name for your biz without learning more from our guest, Joey Vitale from Indie Law.
When Joey Vitale was in college, he was bribed by his father to go to law school with a new car. He quickly realized he was not the ‘shark.’ Due to it not fitting, he started his own graphic design business. Through networking, he realized how many people in business had questions. So, he started a law firm to fill the need in order to help cut out the noise.
Many people go with less expensive solutions than hiring a lawyer. They resort to quick fix, low cost solutions. The problem with that is there is one solution for everyone--which is not the right solution for everyone. Instead, Joey works with people to educate and empower them in their business decisions.
His law firm focuses on the must haves for a business and has solidified the process into programs for those starting their business. This helps people to complete the right steps before jumping into the deep end.
There are two beliefs that are very common among business owners:
These two concepts cannot coexist. What ends up happening is you wake up one morning to an expanding business that has duct tape. It isn’t protected because when that step should’ve been completed, you were too small.
One of the first steps they need to do is acknowledge that this business is separate from you. It is very easy to take it personally. But absolutely none of it is attached to your worth as a human. That goes both ways--positive or negative. As long as you stay a sole proprietorship, you are connected to the business. You are the business. This is why it is recommended that you start as an LLC and establish your business is important enough to be its own entity.
Beyond the mental state of mind of being a separate entity, being a Limited Liability Company protects you. In the worse case scenario, if you are ever sued, your personal assets are protected. And the great thing is, the paperwork is easy! The longer you wait to make the change, the more complicated the paperwork becomes. Start as an LLC and you will already be established.
Once you are committed to forming an LLC you will find it is quite easy to setup. In Joey’s business, he has resources available to help guide you through the process.
Next--trademarks. With sugaring being our service, we get to have a ton of fun with the names. But here is the thing we all assume, an available domain name means the name isn’t taken. Wrong! A trademarked may exist and down the road, you may be told to change your business name.
Trademarks actually exist to protect the consumer more so than the business. Owners tend to think they are ‘calling dibs’ on the name and they don’t want anyone else using it. But, what trademark protections are really about is the consumer. So they get the brand that they are trying to get. For instance, someone selling shoes that are spelled “Nikee” instead of “Nike.”
I myself as the Sugar Mama ran into this at a tradeshow. I sent someone that was new to sugaring to a vendors table. That person said, “the Sugar Mama sent me.” And the vendor’s response was, “Which one?” I actually had to interrupt and make sure it is known that I am THE Sugar Mama and am protected with that trademark. I was able to do that with your guidance, Joey, so thank you so much!
The key is--protect and focus on your business. Take the time to learn how to properly search for available names. Open that LLC. Start your trademark process. And be the legitimate business! You can flex behind having your ducks in the row.
Last pro tip--do your LLC first! There is actually a difference between the technical name of your LLC and your trademark. When you get an LLC, that name is the backstage business name. This is your contract/company name. It does not have to be your brand name. Instead, your trademark can be your brand name. If you are overwhelmed, use your name for the LLC and let the trademark be your public facing name.
If you are wondering if this is the right step for you, it is! It is time to take your business to the next level. Make some things happen and get your house in order!! Thank you for being here, Joey! We appreciate your guidance.
ABOUT JOEY VITALE
Joey Vitale is a trademark attorney (also known as a "brand legitimizer") for online entrepreneurs, emerging thought leaders, and course creators. With his law firm and his courses, Joey helps online business owners call legal dibs on their brand name and signature methods so they never have to worry about losing their brand overnight. Joey has helped thousands of entrepreneurs and has spoken all over the country to help business owners stay safe and thriving.
The PowerBrand link(for trademarks) should point to this funnel: http://joeycvitale.com/shannonobrien
The Setup Kit link for LLCs should point to this funnel: https://www.joeycvitale.com/setupkit-shannonobrien
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