Question by vampirespike11: Question regarding starting up your own production company…?
I am a senior film student working on my thesis film and I had a question regarding owning your own production companies.
There has been a company name I have been working under (one I made up, as we all are doing in the class) and putting it in front of my smaller films projects over the past few years.
However, being that the thesis film is one I plan on entering into film festivals, I would like to make it more than just a name. I’d like to own the rights to the company title.
The thing is that I am not planning on making any money off of the film. I just want to own the name so I can have my production company animation play before my film (giving it a more authentic look).
So what should I do to go about this?
I’ve read that what I should go to my town hall and register the name (after making sure it’s still available). Is that all I would need to do? Or is there more involved?
Again, I don’t plan on producing anything besides my film projects and, for the time being, I don’t plan on making money with this current film. There won’t be a storefront or company telephone number needed either, I just want to be able to put the name of the company on my film for when it premieres.
If it helps, it is a company name I would love to expand on in the near future and turn into a full film production company, but right now I won’t be able to afford that.
And as for taxes, if I just register the name but not start a full-blown, money-making company, I won’t need to file, would I? Or in registering a name, does it automatically mean I have to pay separate taxes for that company, even if it’s not exactly a running business but instead just me owning the name and putting the animation before my movies for now?
Any help would be greatly appreciated, they don’t teach us this kind of stuff and I know a lot of independent filmmakers have their own small production company logos and such they include on their business cards and film projects.
Answer by george
Seems like you’re more interested in using the name than in starting up a business, so don’t worry about a business license.
Assuming it’s a unique name, it seems to me that you might want to trademark it, in case you want to use it later in life (and don’t want someone else taking it).
If you do, you’ll find the instructions here: http://www.uspto.gov/smallbusiness/trademarks/links.html
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