Do I need both a DBA and trademark for a clothing line?

I keep reading online that I need a trademark, but no one mentions a DBA. Do I also need a DBA?

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  • 7 years ago
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    Different animals. d/b/a refers to the name of a company. Trademark refers to the brand on the goods.

    State and local laws determine whether and how you register your d/b/a, also called a "fictitious name" in some states, so that your business name is officially associated with a person.

    Trademark registration in the USA is completely optional. Non-registered rights can be protected in state or federal courts. You get somewhat better protection and simpler enforcement if you get the optional registration in one or more states or in the federal USPTO (which potentially allows you to pre-empt others all over the country).

    If you're concerned about the d/b/a question, you might also want to look into other state and local registrations your business might need, such as a sales tax account, business license, etc.

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