Step By Step Guide
This guide will inform you of various legal requirements and direct you to additional resources. If you have any questions contact the Business Information Center at 800-252-2923 or TDD: 800-785-6055 and a staff member will assist you.
1. Where Do I Start?
2. What ownership structure choices do I have?
3. Where do I register a business?
4. What are my responsibilities as an employer?
5. How do I protect my invention, product or idea?
6. Where can I go for help?
5. How Do I Protect My invention, product or idea?
Trademarks, Patents and Copyrights
A trademark, servicemark or tradename is a word, name symbol, device or combination thereof, adopted and used by a manufacturer, service provider or merchant to identify goods and services in order to distinguish them from others. A patent gives legal recognition to the inventor, creator or discoverer of a new product, procedure or composition of matter. You may obtain a patent or federal trademark by fulfilling all the requirements of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. For more information, contact:
State trademarks, servicemarks and tradenames can be obtained through:
- The Secretary of State
Room 328 Howlett Office Building
Springfield, Illinois 62756
A copyright is a form of protection provided to an author of original works including literary, dramatic, musical, artistic, sound recordings and certain other intellectual works.