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To best protect your business name and be able to prevent others from using it, you should obtain federal trademark protection. But don’t stop there. You’ll need to register your business’s trade name as required by your state and local governments. And while you’re at it, you might as well register domain names, get listed in relevant online directories, and otherwise advertise your business name, in order to get the broadest possible protection. Finally, the legal rights you obtain to your business name are only as good as they are enforced, so be on the look out for potential infringement of your rights. If you do find out someone is illegally using your name, take immediate action. Report it to your state agency and the U.S. patent and trademark office, and send the infringer a cease-and-desist letter. Continue to follow up on the matter as needed so that you don’t loose these valuable rights.