In 2017 there were 29.6 million small businesses registered in the United States. The chances of someone else having the same idea as you is pretty likely. What makes for a frustrating time is when you go to trademark your business name and you find out it’s already claimed! While that may be an earth-shattering revelation for some, you shouldn’t worry!

You may still be able to register your name as long as it’s in a different category. There is one major contributing factor:

Will customers be able to mistake the two different businesses for each other?

Before you start rebranding, consider this:

Everyone knows who Apple is. That doesn’t mean you can’t register your bakery as the same name!

Fans of the original smartphone aren’t going to mistake your brand for the technology giant! You may still be able to keep your name!

You could still run into another snag along the way, so prepare to argue! Even though you can apply for the trademark doesn’t mean you’ll get it. They also allow the other company to submit an opposition!

Research, research, research!

Always make sure your ducks are in a row! There will be no surprises if you prepare for the worst.