So you have started your own business. Like many in the digital age, you went through all the necessary steps. You registered your business name and the domain name for your website. You have established presences on social media; you have ordered stationary such as invoices, business cards and letterhead. If necessary for your business you have developed packaging, built up a fleet of vehicles, bought polo shits for your staff to wear and even had an eye-catching sign made for the front of your location. What is the one part of all of these besides your company name that is universal to all? Your logo, and you better make sure that you own it.
Most companies do not have graphic art departments so they must go to advertising agencies and graphic design firms to help them develop their logo. This unique piece of art will be the universal identifier for your company where ever it appears. As your business grows the logo design will be synonymous with your company name and in some areas it may replace it like the Nike swoosh. So you better make sure that when you have the logo created the people creating it for you provide you with all artwork and paperwork so that you can register your logo. If you don’t, you may be in a world of trouble. So, who owns the logo design or graphic once it is completed.
While the majority of graphic arts and advertising agencies will have in their agreements that you will pay them to design the logo and when it is finished you will own it and that you take responsibility for registering and trademarking it. But there are some disreputable firms that will assure you that they will take care of all of the details in terms of registering and trademarking the logo, at your expense, and then have their name appear on the registration and trademark records. If you stay with them as a client you may never know but should you try to leave them you will learn that you do not own your logo. You will also discover that you can acquire ownership but it will cost you. So when you are taking the step to have a logo created for your business, ensure before you sign any contracts or make any payments that the logo will belong to you once it is created. If you don’t raise the topic right then and there you could be facing a very expensive acquisition process later.