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NFP DBA and what that means?

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Jo Guthrie
NFP DBA and what that means?
on May 28, 2008 at 1:13:43 am

I belong to a group that has been nurtured under a non-profit company and is looking to go Not For Profit on their own. We will probably choose a generic name for the NFP name and continue doing business under our recognized name because we may wish to change it in the future as it is 'location' specific. I'm sure this is a baby-step un understanding type question but I've searched the web and the answer isn't immediately clear to me.

My question is: If we register a DBA, what's to stop someone else from using that name to open their own corporation? So, if we decide to use DBA Company XYZ, what's stopping someone in the same state from Incorporating the name and making it Company XYZ Inc.?

The impression I am getting is that the DBA is what protects us in our state (Massachusetts) from overlapping with another business. But I want to be sure I'm not overlooking something.


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Steve Wargo
Re: NFP DBA and what that means?
on May 28, 2008 at 3:35:16 am

Trademark your name. We trademarked the name of our motion picture company and the name of our next feature film, which everyone says is impossible.

Steve Wargo
Tempe, Arizona
It's a dry heat!

Sony HDCAM F-900 & HDW-2000/1 deck
5 Final Cut (not quite PRO) systems
Sony HVR-M25 HDV deck
2-Sony EX-1 HD .


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Ryan Mast
Re: NFP DBA and what that means?
on May 28, 2008 at 5:08:04 am

Hi Steve,

What kind of cost and effort is required to trademark a name? Would I need a lawyer, or can I do the paperwork on my own?



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David Roth Weiss
Re: NFP DBA and what that means?
on May 28, 2008 at 5:38:32 am

http://www.uspto.gov/web/trademarks/workflow/start.htm

David Roth Weiss
Director/Editor
David Weiss Productions, Inc.
Los Angeles

POST-PRODUCTION WITHOUT THE USUAL INSANITY ™


A forum host of Creative COW's Apple Final Cut Pro, Business & Marketing, and Indie Film & Documentary forums.


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Steve Wargo
Re: NFP DBA and what that means?
on May 28, 2008 at 7:10:20 am

It costs around $350 on your own and around $750 with the right lawyer.
One of our TMs was denied and my lawyer threw in the towel. I developed a strategy to over rule their decision and we won.

Read the info that David linked you to, very carefully, and then go for it. It's kind of cool to have Trademarks and copyrights.

My wife just did hers without a lawyer. We are waiting on the final OK right now.

Mine are "Chem Trails" and "Controversial Pictures".




Steve Wargo
Tempe, Arizona
It's a dry heat!

Sony HDCAM F-900 & HDW-2000/1 deck
5 Final Cut (not quite PRO) systems
Sony HVR-M25 HDV deck
2-Sony EX-1 HD .


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Steve Wargo
And then...
on May 28, 2008 at 7:28:05 am

http://www.mydlstore.com/product.php?productid=40090&cat=23&page=

Steve Wargo
Tempe, Arizona
It's a dry heat!

Sony HDCAM F-900 & HDW-2000/1 deck
5 Final Cut (not quite PRO) systems
Sony HVR-M25 HDV deck
2-Sony EX-1 HD .


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Ryan Mast
Re: And then...
on May 28, 2008 at 2:48:31 pm

Sweet, thanks a lot! It's something I should probably start planning and saving up for...



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Timothy J. Allen
Re: NFP DBA and what that means?
on May 29, 2008 at 3:34:00 am

Steve,
My experience is that you can't simply trademark names - it's the "tangible expression" of the words that can be trademarked. Did you have a particular font style or color scheme that made your titles "trademarketable"?



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Steve Wargo
Re: NFP DBA and what that means?
on May 29, 2008 at 5:49:29 am

1. Company names are trademarkable.

2. The DVDs that will hold the feature film are tangible and therefor trademarkable.




Steve Wargo
Tempe, Arizona
It's a dry heat!

Sony HDCAM F-900 & HDW-2000/1 deck
5 Final Cut (not quite PRO) systems
Sony HVR-M25 HDV deck
2-Sony EX-1 HD .


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Jo Guthrie
Re: NFP DBA and what that means?
on Jun 3, 2008 at 1:16:34 am

I'm not clear that we have to? My question is whether or not our business name is covered already by the DBA. $350-$700 is a large chunk of our budget.



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David Roth Weiss
Re: NFP DBA and what that means?
on Jun 3, 2008 at 3:54:44 am

[Jo Guthrie] "I'm not clear that we have to? My question is whether or not our business name is covered already by the DBA."

Jo,

What you have never stated is why you are even concerned about any of this. Are you thinking somebody in your area is really going to try to capitalize on your company's name, or do you think you're going to be so different that you'll have something so valuable just in a name?

Unregistered trademarks are used all the time, and at a later date, if you find you really have something valuable, you can register the trademark then. Plus, using an unregistered trademark does not necessarily mean that someone coming along after you can suddenly start using your name or that catchy phrase you been using. If you have a proven and profitable history of using those terms that will often suffice if you're ever forced to defend against someone encroaching on your turf.

Is it safer to register? Sure!!! But is it necessary, heck no...

David Roth Weiss
Director/Editor
David Weiss Productions, Inc.
Los Angeles

POST-PRODUCTION WITHOUT THE USUAL INSANITY ™


A forum host of Creative COW's Apple Final Cut Pro, Business & Marketing, and Indie Film & Documentary forums.


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Bruce Bennett
Re: NFP DBA and what that means?
on May 28, 2008 at 5:37:29 pm

Hi Jo,

I find it hard to believe that a business can qualify as a NFP without being incorporated (LLC, inc., ltd, etc.). You may have to without a choice. I would find out first before spending money for a TM.

Bruce

Bruce Bennett
Bennett Marketing & Media Production, LLC


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Steve Wargo
Re: NFP DBA and what that means?
on May 29, 2008 at 5:47:19 am

Hmm I just spoke to a NP CPA today and she said that the steps are:

Apply for a "Corporation" status with the state corporation commission.

Wait 3 weeks and then apply for a NP status.

Wait 120 days while they decide. (If it was MVD, it would be 300 days)

Possibly wait another 120 days till they decide. (MVD 1000 days)

After they decide YES (possibly), begin operating as a NP

You're a probationary NP for 5 years and then they look at your rep and your books and decide if you actually qualify and if you do, then there you go.

She also said:

It costs just under $5000 for the lawyer and CPA to get you started and then about $1200 a year for CPA stuff. She said that if it costs more, keep shopping.

Your time frame may differ, of course.




Steve Wargo
Tempe, Arizona
It's a dry heat!

Sony HDCAM F-900 & HDW-2000/1 deck
5 Final Cut (not quite PRO) systems
Sony HVR-M25 HDV deck
2-Sony EX-1 HD .


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Jo Guthrie
Re: NFP DBA and what that means?
on Jul 5, 2008 at 5:57:22 pm

Thank you for all your help on this. Your advice has been VERY helpful.



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