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Trademarks, domain names, registering - Legal Biz!


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Hello all! I'm new to the boards and have been working on bath & body products for a about 2 years now. At first I made them just for myself (cause i'm so darn picky about scents & packaging hehe), then realised how much I liked doing it & started making a few things to give as gifts for friends. Well over the past couple of weeks one of my friends told me her friend, who owns a really cute boutique, used some of her lotion and fell in love with it & now wants to carry it in her stores all over the state!


I've always loved making b&b products and over the past month or so I have been really researching making a business out of this. I understand this takes a lot of time and $ but I really want to give it a try. My best friend majored in graphic design & has already designed a website for me...the thing I'm really having problems with is all the legal business.

I understand the insurance thing & will be purchasing insurance ($500 annually for $1mil coverage). But how do I go about with registering my business name? I have searched the forum and read several posts about it but I still just don't get it. I will be selling online so I don't want to just have my name protected throughout the state. Do I need a trademark for this? I live in Texas if this matters. I'm also confused on a business license & tax ID number. Are there any websites for Texas small business information? Thanks so much everyone!

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The first thing you'll want to do is register your biz with the Secretary of State. Here's a link for Texas new businesses, and it also includes a link for getting your federal ID # (which you'll do after your biz is registered).


The only way to protect your name across the US (as far as I know) is to register in each state. Thats a costly proposition, and not necessary if you're just starting out I don't think. Not only will you have the initial fees to register, but you'll have annual fees due to each state you're registered in with annual report filings and tax returns.

Check to see if the name you want is available in Texas, and then find out if a domain name you'd want to use is available, and register that too. (check at www.nameboy.com) A lot of times, especially with smaller companies, if the matching domain name is not available, they won't bother with the name, and will pick something else to use. If and as you grow and expand, you can look into moving into other states. You can trademark a logo or company tagline tho, so it can't be used by other businesses, and since that's done at a Federal level, it covers you nationwide.

Hope it's some help, and great luck!

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Thank you! That was extremely helpful :) My name is available so that's good. Is there anything else I need to do? I'm just afraid that I'm going to do something wrong or forget to do something thats really important.

I appreciate any and all advice!

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