QUESTION: How can I protect my DBA?
I have a LLC registered, lets say under name XYZ, and I have a DBA, lets say ABC. I want to trademark the DBA name since I am selling goods and services with it. Should I trademark the LLC name XYZ or ABC? Also if I trademarked the ABC name and then I sold the LLC company and I want to keep doing business as the ABC name, will I lose the trademark will it go automatically to the new owner of the LLC?
A trademark serves to identify the source of goods and services. A trademark is a mark (i.e., name) used on or in connection with the goods and services.
Here, the DBA name likely serves as a trademark because it is used with the goods and services.
However, since the LLC name does not seem to be used with the goods and services, it may not be a trademark. Rather, the LLC name may only be a company name.
When you sell the LLC, the buyer will likely want ownership of the DBA name since the buyer will likely want to continue using the DBA name consumers have come to recognize. But transfer of the DBA name is not necessarily automatic and its non-transfer might be negotiated.