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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Business Law
Satisfied Customers: 88680
Experience:  All corporate law, including non-profits and charitable fraternal organizations.
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What kind of licensing or legal documents do i need to sell a new line of ties for me

Resolved Question:

What kind of licensing or legal documents do i need to sell a new line of ties for men?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Business Law
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 3 years ago.
Do you own the patent/copyright/trademark on the designs? Are they your original designs?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Well none of that has been done yet (patent/copyright/trademark) and i wanted to see what steps to take at first to make it legal. It is at a very beginning stage and thought i'd look into it first to see what i am getting myslef involved with.

But yes, they will all be original works.
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 3 years ago.
Generally, the designs of the ties would be copyrighted and possibly trademarked if the design is something that has a secondary meaning associated with your company.

The first thing you need to do is form some type of corporate entity and usually a Limited Liability Company works best for this small type enterprise. A LLC is one where there are members (one or multiple) and it is a flow through entity for taxes. What that means is the LLC files a tax return but pays no taxes (other than sales tax as required) and issues a K-1 form to the members for their share of profits/losses (similar to a 1099) and the member claims it on their personal income taxes. The LLC can be formed cheaply by going to the secretary of state's website and filing online. Once you form the LLC you go to the IRS website and obtain an Employer Identification Number which you would then use for sales taxes with the state and to open a bank account for the LLC.

Aside from forming the LLC, the only other thing you have to determine is whether to copyright your designs or trademark them (or both) which you can also do online. Copyright or trademark is not mandatory and it is just used if you want to get the most protection of your designs from others using them. You still have a common law copyright on any original work, the difference is that for a violation you can seek more damages if you have a registered mark.


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Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Great! everything is understandable but what you mean exactly by "corporate entity"? Is that where LLC comes directly into play?

And lastly, what do yu mean "secondary meaning associated with your company" if trademarking is what has to happen?
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 3 years ago.
Yes, an LLC is a corporate entity, just like an S-corp or a C-corp or a partnership. That is where the LLC comes into play, it is generally the best type of corporate entity for this type of venture.

Secondary meaning associated with your company means if your design is more than just an original work capable of copyright, like the Nike swoosh or the Hilfiger mark, where someone just looks at the swoosh and associates it immediately with Nike. If someone looks at your design and immediately associates it with your company then you could trademark it, but until it gets to that point you can only get a copyright on any original designs.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
well thank you for your time...i will keeo your links in my contacts for any further questions after i "accept answer".

If you have the best way to copyright or trademark my brand/products let me know what that is, whether a link or website to research.

...thanks again
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 3 years ago.
The copyright can be obtained online at http://www.copyright.gov

Trademarks can be obtained at http://www.uspto.gov

Thank you.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Business Law
Satisfied Customers: 88680
Experience: All corporate law, including non-profits and charitable fraternal organizations.
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