A barrage of mail; what’s important?
Once you’ve received trademark and registered your business, you are likely to begin receiving a lot of mail to your business address. It might take a couple months, but trust me it’s coming. Almost none of it is important but figuring out what is and isn’t can be confusing. A lot of the mail you receive will come from official sounding names and make it seem urgent that you take some action. The only mail you will need to look for once regarding your registration, trademark etc. will likely come from the USPTO, the IRS, your Secretary of State, and your city. My best advice is first make sure you read the name of the sender very carefully. Most of the junk is just some business trying to sell you a service you don’t need but some of it comes from scammers. Often the names they use sound almost like the real official stuff but not quite, and they are counting on people not paying attention to either sell or scam.
If you get a letter from something that sounds official but you aren’t sure, a google search of the exact name of the sender might give you your answer. If they’ve sent it to you they’ve sent it to thousands of other business owners and people talk about them online. If you can’t find the answer easily, you probably want to talk to your CPA or another business owner. If you are just starting out, you probably don’t have a big network and might think you don’t know any other business owners, but you do. Maybe it’s a small store you shop or a salon. People you already know have helpful information that wasn’t anything you thought of before you decided to launch your business. Information sharing is how you build a network (something that I will talk about in a later post) and many business owners will be happy to help you with simple advice.
One of the common letters I saw was about applying for an international trademark. Unless you are sure you are going to one day do business outside of the United States, you shouldn’t waste resources registering your name internationally. If you are sure, you don’t want to use some company that sends you unsolicited mail to register. If you determine you need to protect your trademark internationally, do some research first on your own and then consult a professional who has experience with international trademarks. Very few new businesses need international trademark protection so chances are you don’t need to spend much time if, any even considering the issue. Just know this: once you have received a Registration Number from the USPTO, your name is protected in every US state.