Dear M & M: Why would I want to register my trade name in AZ? I have been using it for 15 years with no problems. –Dan
According to the office of the Secretary of State in Arizona (Department in charge of this areas in Arizona), Filing a trade name registers a business name for public record. A trade name is similar to a “doing business as” (“DBA”) name, and is not legally required but is an acceptable business practice. A trade name does not grant exclusive rights to a business name, nor is a trade name similar to a corporation or limited liability company (“LLC”). If you want to file a corporation or LLC, you need to file with the Arizona Corporation Commission.
Filing a trademark registers a logo or slogan to be displayed on goods or services for public record. Trademarks also are referred to as service marks. These, too, are not required to be filed, but is an acceptable business practice. These filings are only applicable in Arizona and are not substitutes for national filings. If you want to file nationwide, you may want to consult the United States Patent and Trademark Office or the State Library, Archives and Public records, a division of the Secretary of State; as it is a U.S. Patent and Trademark Resource Center.
Contact address for the Office of the Secretary of State, Business Services Division, 1700W Washington St, Fl 7, Phoenix, AZ 85007-2808. Phone (602) 542-6187, 1 (800) 458-5842. Remember in Arizona it isn’t the one who first uses it is the one who filed and paid the application fee to reserve the right to use. Trade Names last for 5 years from the date of receipt. Trademarks last for 10 years from the date of receipt. Prior to expiration, one has up to six months to renew your trade name or trademark.
If your filing is not renewed on time, your trade name or trademark can be registered by someone else. Processing Time is 2-3 weeks. Expedited applications are processed within 1-2 days from when we receive your application for an additional fee. The cost to reserve a trade name is $10.00 and $15.00 for a trademark. Remember, these filings are only applicable in Arizona and are not substitutes for national filings. Here is the link to all the online forms; http://www.azsos.gov/sites/azsos.gov/files/bsd_tntm_filingchart_20160809.pdf.
If you haven’t done this yet it might be the best thing you could buy this week for under $20.00 for your business. Contact your local Small Business Development Center (SBDC) office at Cochise College and they can provide assistance if you need further help. Call (520) 515-5478 or email email@example.com to schedule an appointment to visit them for a no cost one-on-one meeting at the new Cochise College Downtown Center at the west end of the old hospital location in Sierra Vista.