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Creating a business logo seems like a purely artistic project with some undertones of marketing, but it’s a much bigger deal than many business owners suspect. Your logo is the way you’ll introduce the world to your business, and that’s a huge step.

Lucy Taylor is an avid blogger who enjoys sharing her tips and suggestions with her online readers. Working as a legal expert at LY Lawyers, Lucy often helps people dealing with legal problems, addictions and crime.

Lucy Taylor

Guest Writer

The last thing you want to do is find out your logo in its design, ownership, or appearance is in some way problematic. Get the legalities sorted out before you show the world the emblem of your branding.

  1. Get Total Ownership of Your Logo

If you found the perfect designer to create your logo, you’re likely over the moon. Its exciting to have the logo of your dreams ready for the world to see. Just make sure you have exclusive ownership of the logo after it’s been created. Whenever you use an outside artist, create a contract that outlines the terms of use. If the creation is even partially owned by the artist, they can theoretically challenge your ability to use it in certain contexts. You’ll need total ownership for freedom of use.

  1. Avoid Accidentally Offending People

In modern times, it’s easy to offend people without even trying. Make sure none of the imagery in your logo doesn’t conflict with social norms or popular attitudes. Football teams have used logos and names that involve controversial portrayal of native peoples in the past, and society is quick to let them know why what they’re doing is wrong. The best mistakes to learn from are the mistakes of others – get plenty of opinions of your logo before it goes live to make sure there are no alternative interpretations.

Image Credit: Pexels
  1. Check Your Logo Against Your Competitors

If your logo is similar to another logo (even inadvertently), the legitimacy of your logo can be challenged. If a direct competitor or someone is a similar line of business with a well established reputation claims that your similar logo may confuse customers, it’s unlikely that you’ll win the legal fight that comes along with that claim. Make sure there is little to no similarity between your logo and other logos to avoid this debate. See some samples of Business Logos which evolved over the years

  1. Always Register Your Logo

If your logo isn’t registered as your logo, there’s no documentation to legally prove that you own it and it’s a part of your business. Make sure to file all the appropriate paperwork to ascertain your logo’s association with your business. Without it, you’re limited to the claims you can make about intellectual property and brand identity.

  1. Avoid Incorporation of Copyrighted Material

Certain symbols, colors, or shape configurations in your logo might already be copyrighted by someone else or another corporate entity. People own some of the simplest things – even the official “happy birthday” song cannot be used without the express permission of the copyright holder. Accidental copyright violations are easy. If there’s any question about the origin of something you’re using, check to see if it belongs to someone.

  1. Protect Associated Taglines and Slogans

Your slogans, tagline, and marketing text that will frequently accompany (or be incorporated with) your logo are just as important as the actual imagery. Don’t forget to register the appropriate trademarks and copyrights you need to protect the text. That information completes your logo and should be safeguarded from theft or misuse.

  1. Keep a Lawyer on Standby

If any issues should arise with your logo, whether it’s someone making a claim against your logo or someone using it without permission, it helps to have a lawyer handy. A lawyer can help you argue and settle cases where you feel as though your logo is being stolen or misappropriated, or defend the originality of your logo if someone else files a useless lawsuit against it.

In the world of business, your logo is essentially your face. It’s important to keep it safe, recognizable, and most importantly, yours. It never hurts to double check as far as legalities are concerned.

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