Tips for Legally Protecting Your Personal Brand

Apr 10, 2012

People in the hot rod and restoration industry spend nearly as much time building their brands as they do building cars.

Everyone understands the steps to take to protect your shop’s brand, but not necessarily what to do to protect your personal brand.

“When your name or personal identity is front and center at your business, it’s crucial to protect that personal brand, especially at small businesses with limited resources,” the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) shared in a recent article. “Yet guarding it through legal measures may be harder that you thought.”

If your name is what’s drawing people, the NFIB recommends using this road map to legally protect your personal brand:

Trademark Registration “Don’t assume that having a personal brand leaves you any less vulnerable,” the association recommended. “A personal brand-whether it reflects someone’s name, nickname or image-should be federally registered as a trademark with the person’s consent.”

Right of Publicity “…many states have right of publicity laws…[that] prohibit commercial use of someone’s name, image or likeness without their consent, so if your state has such a law, find out what additional protection it might offer,” the association recommended.

Managing Reputation “[Y]ou can avoid legal problems by actively managing your reputation,” the association recommended. “Use ongoing communication to set expectations and ensure that key players are happy.”

To read the complete NFIB article, click here.