Registering your trademarks with the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office should be one of the first steps for all new companies (that’s of course, after conducting a comprehensive trademark search). However, allocating the necessary funds to adequately protect its trademarks may be a tricky endeavor for a new startup company. Frequently, companies with limited budgets only have enough money file a single trademark and thus, must decide whether it is best for them to file a trademark application for their business name or logo. Before making a decision, it is extremely important to consult a trademark attorney since every mark is different and requires its own legal analysis. However, there are a few general factors that should be considered in the decision-making process.
In today’s economic environment, it has become popular for companies to relocate to another state. This strategic decision may occur as part of an effort to lower business costs, find a more business-friendly state with lower taxes and less burdensome regulation, or simply to provide employees a better quality of life. Historically, companies had three primary ways in which they could relocate: (1) remain a company in its parent state and register as a foreign company doing business in a new state; (2) dissolve the current company and form a new company in a new state; or (3) form a new company in a new state then through a merger or acquisition acquire the old company or its assets.
However, a fourth option, domestication, has been gaining momentum making it much easier to relocate a company. With domestication, an existing company can be transferred to a new jurisdiction without the hassle of acquiring third-party consents and regulatory approval that may occur with a merger. Additionally, since the resulting business entity after domestication is the same entity as the original entity, it may retain its “age” and Federal Tax Identification Number, which may be useful when acquiring corporate bank accounts, lines of credits and special government exemptions.