When I started “The Money Engineer” financial literacy project I had no intention of turning it into a viable business. However my lawyer who happens to be my wife pestered me to fully register it. So we formed a company to give the project a legal identity. We also registered “The Money Engineer” as a trademark which gives me exclusive rights to use that name. Plus we registered the domain name “themoneyengineers.com” to protect my online interests.
The same thing happened with our manufacturing business. The business is fully incorporated with directors and shareholders. It’s also registered with the tax authorities. All our products are under the “SHAKE” brand. “SHAKE” has been registered as trademark with the Uganda Registration Services Bureau (URSB).
Many small businesses don’t like formally registering because of fear of government sanctions and lack of information. The challenge is you can’t grow if you don’t put proper systems in place. It’s also difficult to attract investors on board. Plus it’s a risk to operate without a protected company name and brand. If you have not registered your company name/brand then someone can simply register it and steal your valuable name. You don’t want to work so hard only to end with competitors riding on your sweat.
Your brand name is an identity. It’s an intangible asset which grows in value with time. The big companies know this and they invest heavily in promoting and protecting their brand. A recognizable brand helps you to stand out from the crowd. Protecting your brand should be viewed as an investment.
Make sure you legally protect your side hustle and business. Your brand name could end up becoming your most valuable possession.