New business startups seems to get quite confused between business registration and trademark that what should a person register. To understand the difference between the two, here is my take: Business registration is compulsory and legal / statutory requirement by government to run the business or commercial / economic activity while trademark is not necessary to acquire. In simple words, trademark is acquired to prevent title and restricting anyone else to use the same name. In this article, I have tried to explain the two in a very simple way.

Very basic difference between the two is self explanatory by their names. Trademark is intellectual property which means its an asset while Business registration is statutory requirement to run the business under legal framework.

Let me explain it with an example. Unilever is a business name which is also registered with the government to run the business affairs. Unilever makes hundreds of products e.g. Walls (dessert). Walls is a trademarked so that no one else can use this name and it is not a business name.

Further explanation is as follows:

TRADEMARK

1)   A trademark is used to identify a product or service in the marketplace and to distinguish it from other products and services.
2)  A registered trademark must specify the types (or classes) of goods and services in relation to which it is used.

BUSINESS REGISTRATION

  1)  A business registration is a name that is used to identify a business, not a product or service.
  2)  A registered business name is the name that the legal entity owns and uses to promote the business.

Difference between Trademark and Business Name registration

TRADEMARK
Trademarks are used to identify the ‘what’ of a business
Trademarks provide protection solely for the entity which has been trademarked. The Trademarks Act clearly specifies what can and cannot be trademarked. So this means if your trademark is registered, then no one else can use the same trademark without consent or accurate licensing.
Trademarks are registered with the Registrar of Trademarks.
A trademark can be a business name.
Trademarking is a personal choice. It is not mandatory. But it can be beneficial for most established companies to have their names, products, and designs trademarked.
BUSINESS REGISTRATION
Business names are used to define the ‘who’ of a business.
A business name makes your business identifiable. Just like how a name provides a unique identity for each individual, a business name provides a specific identity to every organization. However, registration of a business name does not guarantee protection.
Business names or trade names are registered with provincial or federal bodies.
A business name may or may not be eligible for a trademark.
All business names have to be registered to comply with the legal requirements of incorporating a business in Pakistan.

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