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Roy Hadavi
Roy Hadavi,
Category: Business Law
Satisfied Customers: 775
Experience:  Attorney at Law Offices of Rosenstein & Associates
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I am looking to startup a part time photography studio, is

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I am looking to startup a part time photography studio, is there an easier way to register and protect my name until I can?

Hi. My name is ***** ***** I am a licensed attorney. I would be happy to provide assistance. Please keep in mind that our conversation does not include an attorney-client relationship and this is for general information purposes only.

Can you please clarify what you mean by an easier way? Easier than what?

Customer: replied 27 days ago.
I am looking to find someone who can take the guess workplace out, as in, filing with local and state agencies, etc. I have looked into Legalzoom but I don't feel comfortable and I don't have a lot of money to hire a lawyer.

Thank you for the clarification David.

I can walk you through the steps right through this chat.

Is your business a corporation or LLC or are you going to form a corporation or LLC in the future for the business?

Customer: replied 27 days ago.
I will probably form an LLC. I will be doing some portraiture but mainly landscape and freelance.

Okay. There are a few options for protection of the name:

  • Form an LLC or Corporation. Forming either entity protects the name within the state from being used by another entity. The cost to incorporate (the term for a corporation) or organize (the term for an LLC) in Ohio is $99. This is the fee to file the document with the Ohio Secretary of State to form the entity. You can click here to view the filing fees. If you are going to be the only shareholder (corporation) or member (LLC) initially, then you can use LegalZoom to prepare the filing document, as well as the other documents. If you use them, make sure to read all of the information they provide. A lot of my legal work involves correcting LegalZoom mistakes, because clients didn't read everything that LegalZoom provided. However, as an initial setup for a one-person business, they are good enough. Once you expand, you can then hire an attorney to update the documents.
  • Fictitious Business Name. If you intend to conduct business before forming a corporation or LLC, you will want to register for a fictitious business name (also known as a DBA or "doing business as") in the county that your business is located. I would not recommend starting the business before forming a legal entity, because you open yourself up to personal liability.
  • Trademark the Name. If the name is ***** ***** trademarked, you can register the name with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPT). This will grant your name the broadest protection, as it covers the entire nation. The fee is $225 per class (per category), and you will probably only need one category. Please click here to do a search of the trademark database and see if the name is available. The button to click is a little bit down the page. When you do the search do it in the following manner:
    • If your name was Big Bear Photography, the search should be *Big* *Bear*. The asterisks let the search to search for similar words, just to make sure you don't miss anything. You will also want to do a search just for the unique words, so skip the generic photography, because an already registered mark that uses the unique words, but not the generic, will prevent your registration.
    • Don't stress the search to much though. This is only a preliminary test. The USPTO examining attorney assigned to your application will review the database to see if there is any existing mark that your mark will conflict with. That is why I never pay a company to search the database. It is cheaper to just try to register and have the USPTO let me know if there is an issue.

I know this is a lot of information. We may want to schedule a phone call to discuss any of these matters further, if you need additional information.

Thank you so much for allowing me to help you with your question. I have done my best to provide information which fully addresses your question. If you have any follow-up or clarification questions, please ask! There is no additional fee. If I have fully answered your question(s) to your satisfaction, I would appreciate you rating my service (hopefully Excellent/5 stars!) at the top of the screen. Otherwise, I receive no credit for assisting you today. I thank you in advance for taking the time to provide me a positive rating! A BONUS is also appreciated if you feel I've earned one today.

Roy Hadavi and 2 other Business Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 27 days ago.
Thank you for your input. I will read over the information provided and begin a more in depth research. I'm sure I will be asking more questions at a later date.

You're very welcome.
Thank you so much for the 5-star rating! I know rating takes an additional step and I truly appreciate you taking the extra time! It's been my honor and privilege to help you with this. If I can help you in any way in the future, I'll be happy to help. For easy access, my bookmark is: Or, simply request “Roy only” in the first line of your question.