On this episode of Rhodes to Success, I interview Nellie Akalp, who is a small business advocate and CEO of CorpNet.com. Nellie has formed more than 100K corporations and LLCs across the US, and has been building companies for more than 18 years. In 2008, Nellie sold her first company to Intuit for $20M, and got straight back in the entrepreneur game. During this episode, Jessica and Nellie discuss trademarks, common law rights, how to get started, working as a couple, and managing a successful team.
Main Questions Asked:
- How did your law school education impact what you are doing in business?
- When is the best time to trademark a business name?
- What is the investment for securing a trademark?
- What are common law trademark rights?
- What are your tips for younger married women with kids in the early years of their business?
- Talk about managing and growing a successful team.
- What is an example of one thing you have done that contributed to upleveling your business?
- What percentage of million dollar businesses are owned by women?
Key Lessons Learned:
- CorpNet provides legal document preparation services to small business owners and entrepreneurs who want to start a business.
- Businesses need to protect their name, brand, logo, and tagline, as well as completing trademark and copyright registration and searches.
- Trademarks are about protecting your brand from anyone else using it, diluting it, and creating confusion in the marketplace.
- Trademark protection is about preventing others from using your name, tag line, brand, and logo.
- If the business is making money, is profitable, and you are planning on building out the business, you should consider trademarking.
- Having a trademark is one more step to giving you brand recognition and loyalty.
Getting Started with a Trademark
- Prices start from $149 for the application preparation (in addition to the fees paid to the United States Patent and Trademark Office).
- Do a free trademark search at the federal level.
- A nationwide trademark search is $199. If you are doing name and logo, it is $299.
- The United States Patent and Trademark Office fees range from $325 per class to $375 per class.
Common Law Trademark Rights
- Common law rights are based on first use of the name.
- Just by using a name in the marketplace, you are applying rights to that name under the First-use doctrine.
Family & Relationship Tips for Entrepreneurs
- In running a business with your partner, you have to be linear rather than a hierarchy.
- You always have to be unified as a couple in front of your team.
- Mandate date night, and keep it intimate rather than simply just business.
Managing a Successful Team
- When working with remote team members, their mindset has to be one of an entrepreneurial nature. Whereby everyone is working toward a common goal.
- A big company is a result of the sum of its parts.
The music in today’s episode was written by The Danger Os and produced by Nick Palmer. Check them out at https://www.facebook.com/thedangerosmakemusic
Links to Resources Mentioned
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