Trademarks and tradenames can be the most valuable asset of a business. The goodwill, or reputation, associated with a name or mark often determines the value at the time of sale. As well, many thousands, even millions, of dollars are spent creating goodwill associated with a name or mark, so this intellectual property (IP) should be well planned from the beginning. Choosing a name or mark without proper research to determine if it, or something similar, is already in use is a very important step. Imagine creating an expensive marketing plan and building a reputation around a particular trademark, and receiving a cease and desist demand two years down the road from a business that has senior rights to your name or mark. Additionally, once a trademark is well vetted, it is important to protect it by registering it properly with the appropriate agency. This gives you greater leverage to protect against potential infringers in the future.