This article is related to a recent legal case that happened in the UK for a friend of mine’s business named garage shelving UK. As you can probably guess this individual sells a lot of shelving to UK individuals and wholesalers. The issue came in regards to their name and website domain.
So owning the domain name garageshelving.co.uk is obviously great for relevance and the seo benefit that comes from ranking in Google too. But the issue is they did not register a trademark for this company. For example usually when you start a company you will set up a limited version of the company and get the trademark for the logo and (or) just the name of the business itself. This is great for a number of reasons, but most people do it simply because they don’t want people to copy what they are doing and steal their customers.
But, it can also work in reverse if you actually forget to register a trademark. For example in this case they owned the domain but the ltd business was set-up as another company name, this meant that another company that was conveniently called “Garage Shelving UK” can and actually tried to claim this domain was related to their business and sued/legally forced them to give it up. Obviously this went to court as the domain was very important to both businesses and luckily due to the registration date of the domain being before the registration date of the trademark the domain stayed with the company and the imaginary shelving company was not seen again.
So tip 1 is to always get your trademarks set-up as soon as you start a business, even if you think that this business might not have much competition!
Tip 2 – Wholesale business product packaging. This is another small one that can turn massive. The easiest way to never have to worry about this is to go into a solicitors firm with your product and simply ask for a 1 hour consultaiton. It’s going to cost a few hundred pounds but you will have 2 things out of this. 1.) Is peace of mind when your product passes the packaging tests and 2.) A solicitor that will know your product better if something does go wrong later down the line. They will also tell you any legal action you need to take to be safe when it comes to products and packaging in general.
Tip 3 – Contracts – Again as the above company found out the hard way, just because people seem trustworthy doesn’t mean they are going to pay you. For example a contract will legally bind them to paying you within an allotted time period. This is turn will give you the confidence to run your business normally. But assume that business goes under…. Who are they going to pay first out of the 10 companies they owe money too? The one where they signed a concrete legally binding contract, or the ones that just had an IOU note? – This is why contracts are so important outside of the legal standpoint, its a mindset issue!