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QUESTION: What do I need to know about registering a trademark?
I want to start up a clothing/bait and tackle shop in my home town. We haven’t made the products with our preferred name yet or sold anything because we fear the name might be rejected or something might some up. We want to get all our ducks on a row before we invest too much. I got the name and place and ideas for products. Where do I start. Do I register for a trademark first?
 
ANSWER: You should be first concerned about whether your preferred name might infringe another’s trademark and then whether you can register your preferred name.
 
For infringement, you can not only Google your preferred name to see who else might be using the same/similar name, but also check the US trademark office website – https://www.uspto.gov/trademarks-application-process/search-trademark-database
 
For registration, if your business is confined to the state in which you are located, you can obtain a state trademark registration. If your business goes outside of your state, you can obtain federal registration – https://www.uspto.gov/trademarks-application-process/filing-online
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