Surprisingly, one main reason entrepreneurs resist their creative urge to start a business is the feeling that once their fantastic idea goes public, it will be stolen. Intellectual property thieves certainly abound but there are ways to protect your idea before, during and after your business goes live. One of the easiest ways to secure your idea is to buy a domain name. Once your website is built on that digital address or URL, your name is locked in by the registry, preventing competitors from ownership.
You can choose to register your business name through BC Registry but please be aware that you are not protected against future use by someone else in Canada residing in another province. There can be many legal duplications of your business name and registering with the provincial business registry does not provide you with proprietary rights to that name. If you want full branding protection, register for a trademark with the Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO). That being said, it is necessary by law to register your business name with BC Registry Services if you intend to incorporate.
Excess secrecy can stall or kill your new venture. We want you to feel comfortable and protected when you take those first steps in starting your business. In a nutshell, here are three ways to protect your valuable idea:
1. Register your domain name and build a website.
Buy your domain name through a registrar, enable two-factor authentication, lock your domain at the registry, and keep your contact information up to date. If this process seems daunting, we can buy the domain for you. Once your site is built, you can enjoy a legitimate online presence.
2. Register for a business trademark with the Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO)
Registration with CIPO protects your business name and branding via federal trademark law. The first step to securing intellectual property rights is to search the Canadian Trademark Database for proof that your name is available. Although searching the database is a free service, it costs $250.00 to begin the registration process, then $200.00 for a certificate, with additional charges if you make future changes to your account details.
3. Document and date everything.
Business plans are a fantastic way to prove your idea through the stages of initial conception, to your festive launch into the mainstream public. Save your dated receipts and documents for chronological proof. Your business plan contains all those details you need for legal proof if an issue arises in the future.
We build websites that help protect your business ideas through domain registration and online presence. Call Infotel Multimedia for more information: 250-260-7776 x107 or fill out our contact form to get started on your new project.
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Further Reading: How to write a business plan, part 1