Before exploring trade mark protection, it is important to consider who will own that trade mark. Owning a trade mark under your personal name versus your company name can have different implications. Here are some key pros and cons to consider:
Owning a trade mark under your company name:
- Limited liability: Owning a trade mark under a company name provides a level of separation between your personal assets and the trade mark. In the event of legal claims, creditors, in most circumstances, cannot target your personal assets, therefore protecting your personal finances.
- Branding and marketing: Owning a trade mark under a company name allows you to build a brand identity separate from your personal name, which can be beneficial for marketing and establishing a professional presence.
- An attractive asset: When trying to impress potential investors or business partners, registered intellectual property are an attractive asset to have under your company ownership.
- Business continuity: If you sell or transfer your business, the trade mark can be transferred along with the company, ensuring the continuity of brand recognition and customer trust.
- Administrative complexity: Owning a trade mark through a company involves setting up and maintaining a legal entity (unless you already have one), which requires additional administrative tasks and potential costs.
- Loss of personal control: Ownership of the trade mark within a company structure means decisions regarding its use, licensing, or transfer may require board or shareholder approval, limiting your personal control over the trade mark.
- Dissolution impact: If the company dissolves or undergoes changes, there may be implications for the ownership and use of the trade mark, which could affect your ability to retain or transfer it. It is important that in the event of dissolution the trade mark is assigned away from the dissolving company, in order to avoid the risk of losing the trade mark.
Owning a trade mark under your personal name:
- Simplicity: Owning a trade mark under your personal name can be straightforward and require fewer administrative tasks since it does not involve setting up a separate legal entity such as a limited company.
- Personal control: You have direct control over the trade mark and can make decisions regarding its use, licensing, or transfer without involving others.
- Flexibility: You can retain ownership of the trade mark even if you change or dissolve your company, allowing you to use it for personal ventures or future business endeavours.
- Personal liability: If someone were to bring a legal claim against your trade mark, they could potentially pursue your personal assets and hold you personally liable for any damages.
- Limited branding opportunities: Owning a trade mark under your personal name may limit branding opportunities and make it challenging to differentiate your trade mark from your personal identity.
- Perceived unprofessionalism: In certain industries or business contexts, using a personal name as a trade mark might be seen as less professional or may not convey the desired image or credibility.
It’s important to note that the decision of whether to own a trade mark under a personal name or a company name depends on various factors, including your business goals, branding strategy, and risk tolerance.
Our specialist lawyers here at Briffa are here to help to provide advice tailored to your specific circumstances. Please do not hesitate to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 0207 096 2779 for an initial free consultation.