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                                   A Home-Based Business Online


                                             April 1

                                     Sent to 9,313 Subscribers

                                         Editor: Elena Fawkner
                                   Publisher: AHBBO Publishing
                                        Best Home Based Business Ideas
                                    Contact By Email

1.      Welcome and Update from Elena
2.      Home-Based Business Idea of the Week - Potted Plants
3.      Feature Article - DBAs, TMs & .coms
4.      Write-A-Book Tutorial Part 3 : Winning
5.      Tips for Newbies
7.      Subscription Management
9.      Contact Information

1.      Welcome and Update from Elena

Hello again and a warm welcome to all the new subscribers who
have joined us since the last issue!

I received an email during the week from a new subscriber wanting
to know all about business names, how to protect it from copy-cats,
and whether it could be trademarked.  Figuring this was a subject
near and dear to many AHBBO readers' hearts, it forms the
subject of this week's feature article.

I have a wonderful freebie for you this week.  Back in the early
1970s, J.F. (Jim) Straw published a little monthly memo service that
explained, in detail, how to operate a small business from home.
Each of the businesses he wrote about were things he had either
done himself; or participated in with other "kids." After the monthly
memo was gone, he continued publishing those little reports and
selling them for $1 each.  He sold hundreds of thousands of them
each year.

Some time back, he collected 17 of those reports and put them
together in a Special Report entitled, "Seventeen (17) 'Real' Home
Based Businesses You Can Start & Operate From Your Home."
It's a great little seller at $10 BUT anyone who is really interested
in starting a "real" home based business can grab a copy of it free. 
Just request your copy at:

As always, thanks for reading and I hope you enjoy this week's

Remember, this ezine is for YOU!  If you have comments or
suggestions for topics you would like to see addressed, or would
just like to share your experiences with other subscribers, I want
to hear from you!  Please send comments, questions and stories
to Contact By Email .

2.      Home-Based Business Idea of the Week - Potted Plants

By: J. F. (Jim) Straw
© 1998 Phlander Company.

Explanation: Fantastic as it may seem, this idea had its
origination with my mother-in-law. She has a pair of "Green
Thumbs" and her house is covered with flowers, vines and the

On a weekend visit, I made a comment about her lovely flowers.
Her response astounded me. It seems that each year she gives
away dozens of her plants to friends, neighbors, relatives and
acquaintances just to get the plants out of her house. She said
that, if she didn't, the house would soon be overgrown.

These comments prompted me to investigate the florist business.
The discoveries I made indicate that there is a vast fortune to be
made in this field without ever growing one plant.

There are literally millions of women, like my mother-in-law, in
this country who delight in growing flowers in their homes. These
women do it for the enjoyment of having living plants decorating
their homes - BUT - after some time, their homes become
overcrowded with plants. Unable, by their nature, to destroy or
discard any of their plants, they give them away to anyone who
will have them.

Florists, at the same time, are selling the very same plants for a
fabulous (almost 100%) profit. Because of the nature of the florist
business, you can make yourself a small fortune by becoming a
"Flower Broker".

For the rest of this report:


There are many more ideas like this at the AHBBO Home
Business Ideas page at free home based business ideas
with more being added all the time.

3.      Feature Article - DBAs, TMs & .coms

© 2013 Elena Fawkner

"... I'd like to register my business name with the proper town
authorities as a sole proprietorship.  To protect myself and my
business name from being copied and altered, do I have to
register any and all variations of the name?  And is this done
separately or is it done under the one application? ...  Is this
what I need to do in order to stop anyone from using a variation
of my business name?  And can my business name be
trademarked along with its variations?"

This question (an extract from an email I received from a new
subscriber during the week) is a good illustration of how confusing
the purpose of and difference between business names and
trademarks can be for small business and others without ready
access to an army of lawyers to lead them through the maze. 
Add your domain name to the mix and it becomes as clear as

In this article, we'll look at what business names, trademarks
and domain names are (and aren't), what you can and need
to do to protect them and issues to think about when deciding
upon what to choose for your business and domain names and
whether trademark protection is appropriate (or even possible).


If you're going to conduct your business under a "fictitious"
name, i.e., one other than its legal name, you will need to register
the fictitious name with the appropriate government agency
in your state.  This usually means your local county recorder's
office but, depending on where you live, it may mean your
state's Secretary of State Office.  In countries other than the
U.S., the appropriate body may be some sort of government
Department of Small Business.

So what's your "legal" name?  If you're conducting business
as a sole proprietorship, your legal name is your name, i.e.
Fred Smith.  If you're any sort of other legal entity such as
a corporation, limited liability company, limited partnership
etc., the legal name of your business is the name of your
corporation, company, or limited partnership.

If you conduct business under your own name or that of
your corporation, limited liability company or limited
partnership, you do NOT need to register a fictitious business
name with the State because you are not conducting
business under a fictitious name, you are conducting it
under your business's legal name.

=> Legal Purpose of a Fictitious Business Name

The reason you must register a fictitious business name
to operate a business under a name other than your
business's legal name is to protect the consuming public -
those members of the public who come in contact with your
business - as well as other parties such as suppliers. 

The purpose of registration is so that those who deal with your
business can search for and identify the person(s) "behind" the
name.  As a  fictitious business name is not a legal entity, it
does not have contractual capacity (i.e. it cannot enter into
contracts in its own name).  A consumer wanting to do business
with your business needs to be able to verify that the person with
whom he or she is contracting has authority to enter into the
contract as the business entity.  By searching the fictitious
business names register, the consumer can find out who is
"behind" the business, as that is the party with whom he or she
will be contracting (and, sometimes, suing if the transaction
goes bad!).

Example:  Alfreda Smith conducts her florist business under the
registered fictitious business name, "Blooming Right".  Florist
Supplies, Inc. wants to enter into a contract with Blooming Right
to supply Blooming Right's stock of tulips.  As Blooming Right
is not a legal entity and only a DBA ("doing business as", another
term for a fictitious business name), Blooming Right does not have
legal capacity to enter into the supply contract with Florist
Supplies, Inc..  (Florist Supplies, Inc., of course, being a
corporation - as evidenced by the "Inc." - is a legal entity, and
therefore has contractual capacity.)  For this reason, Florist
Supplies, Inc. will only be prepared to contract with Alfreda Smith,
the legal entity behind Blooming Right.  Florist Supplies, Inc.
identifies the legal entity with contractual capacity by searching
the fictitious business names register.  Accordingly, the supply
contract finally entered into will be between Florist Supplies, Inc.
and Alfreda Smith, d/b/a Blooming Right.

You should also know that you won't be able to open a bank
account for your business unless and until your fictitious business
name is registered with the state.

Just because you've registered your business name in your county
doesn't mean that someone else can't register the same business
name in another county.  Registration is only designed to allow
people who deal with your business to identify you as the person
behind that particular business.  It doesn't give you exclusive use
of that name for all purposes in all areas.  For this reason, if your
business name is also your business's "brand", you should also
register it as a trademark, if possible.


As is evident from the purpose of registering a fictitious business
name, a business name is NOT a trademark and a registered
business name will generally NOT operate to protect the name
from use by others (except as an identical or deceptively similar
business name in the same county).  So how do you protect your
business's "name" if it also identifies and distinguishes the source
of your goods or services from those of your competitors'?  The
answer is federal trademark registration.  (Although you can also
register trademarks at the state level, state registration confers only
limited benefits and should be considered only if federal registration
is not possible).

=> What is a Trademark?

As suggested above, a trademark is either "a word, phrase,
symbol or design, or combination of words, phrases, symbols
or designs, which identifies and distinguishes the source of
the goods or services of one party from those of others."
A service mark is the same thing except it relates to the
source of a service rather than a product.

=> Registration Not Required

A trademark (or service mark) does not need to be registered
to attain status as a mark i.e. unregistered trademarks are
recognized by the common law.  If you have used a distinctive
trademark (that you own) in commerce, then you probably have
a common law trademark already. 

But registration confers benefits not available if you rely only on
your common law trademark rights, such as the presumption that
you are the owner of the mark for the goods and services specified
in the registration and the entitlement to use the mark nationwide. 

Absent federal registration, you would have to prove these things in
court as preliminary questions of fact.  Imagine trying to satisfy a
court that you are entitled to exclusive nationwide use of the mark
if you've only been using the mark in two states.  Other benefits of
federal registration include: (a) the fact that registration acts as
constructive notice of your claim to the mark; (b) federal court
jurisdiction can be invoked; and (c) registration can be used as a
basis for obtaining registration in other countries.

=> What Can Be Trademarked?

It may be easier to answer this question by looking first at what
cannot be trademarked.  The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office
(PTO) won't allow you to register a mark that is not distinctive
(discussed below); that is already in use or that contains names
of living persons without their consent; the United States flag;
other federal and local government insignia; name or likeness of
a deceased U.S. President without the widow's consent; words
or symbols that disparage living or deceased persons, institutions,
beliefs or national symbols and marks that are judged immoral,
deceptive or scandalous.

=> Distinctiveness

As a general rule, a trademark must be distinctive in order
to be accepted for registration.  This is an enormously complex
issue in trademark law and beyond the scope of this article. 
But for our purposes, just keep in mind that a mark that is in
ordinary or common usage in the community will not be
capable of registration because no one person can be said
to be the "owner". 

For example, let's say your business is selling still life paintings. 
You would have trouble registering "Still Life" as a trademark
because it is a term in common usage and has a general meaning
in the community.  (Note though that certain types of marks while
not distinctive YET may become so in the future, i.e. they are
capable of acquiring a secondary meaning.  Such marks may be
eligible for registration and limited protection on the supplemental
trademark register.  For more on this, consult your attorney.*)

(On the other hand, you may well be able to register the name
Still Life as your fictitious business name provided the same or a
deceptively similar name is not already registered in your county.)

In order to maximize the chances of your trademark being
accepted for registration, therefore, try to come up with a
"coined" or "fanciful" name.  The example often given by
trademark lawyers of a particularly successful coined name
is Kodak.  It's a name that means nothing apart from its
association with cameras and now expanded lines of
products but is immediately identifiable by anyone who sees
it as a trademark of the Eastman Kodak company.

So, the more novel, unique and fanciful the name, the more
likely you will be able to register it federally.


So, how does your domain name figure into all of this?  In
particular, what is the interrelationship between registered
trademarks and domain names?

=> Domain Names VS. Trademarks : David VS. Goliath

As a general rule, as the law presently stands, it is
*possible* to register any domain name that isn't already
taken without regard to whether that name is a trademark
owned by a third party.  *But do so at your peril*.  Courts are
increasingly siding with trademark owners against domain
name holders even when the domain name holder acquired
the domain name with perfectly innocent intentions, i.e. with
no intention of infringing on the trademark or holding it for
ransom (cybersquatting).

=> Domain Names AS Trademarks

Let's say that the domain name you want to use is not
already a trademark.  Can you register it as a trademark?
Depends.  Maybe.

A distinctive, coined domain name may well be capable of
trademark registration for the reasons discussed above.
An example is my own domain, ahbbo.com.  The word "ahbbo"
has no common, ordinary meaning and so would most likely be
capable of being registered as a federal trademark.  If I tried to
register the trademark "A Home-Based Business Online"
I would have trouble even though I own that domain name
because the words are, in one variation or another, in
common, ordinary usage.

To be registrable, however, the domain name must act as
a source identifier for the product or service offered by the
business (simply because ANY trademark must identify and
distinguish the source of the product or service), and
not merely act as an address used to access a website.


Let's go back now and answer the original question:

"... I'd like to register my business name with the proper town
authorities as a sole proprietorship.  To protect myself and my
business name from being copied and altered, do I have to
register any and all variations of the name?  And is this done
separately or is it done under the one application? ...  Is this
what I need to do in order to stop anyone from using a variation
of my business name?  And can my business name be
trademarked along with its variations?"

=>  "To protect myself and my business name from being
copied and altered, do I have to register any and all variations
of the name?"

No.  The question misconceives the function and effect of a
fictitious busness name.  The only function of the registered
business name is to allow the consuming public and others,
such as suppliers, to ascertain the legal entity behind the
fictitious business name.  It is not the business's name that
requires protection from being copied and altered, it is the
business's trademark(s).  If you are looking to establish a "brand"
with your business name, make sure the name is the same as
your trademarks and register your trademarks.

=> "Do I have to register any and all variations of the name?"

This was asked in the context of the business name.  For the
reason just given, the answer is no.  But for the purposes of
our trademark analysis, let's reframe the question.  Is it
necessary to register any and all variations of the trademark?

No.  Once you have federal trademark protection for your mark,
the trademark examiner will (in theory, at least) not allow
anyone else to register a mark that is identical or deceptively
similar to your mark.


If you're still in the planning stages of your business and
haven't as yet registered a fictitious business name or decided
on a domain name, stop and think.  Now's the time to make
some pretty crucial decisions about the future protection of the
intellectual property of your business.  Here's the sequence I

1.  Trademark

This is the most important of the three (i.e. business name,
trademark and domain name) from the point of view of
differentiating your product/service from your competitors'.
So take your time and coin a mark that has no meaning outside
of your product or service (remember the Kodak example) but at
the same time try and make it suggestive of the product or service
you offer.  Also, try and keep it short and memorable.  Yes, this
IS a difficult task!  If it was easy, everyone would do it wouldn't

2.  Domain Name

The second most important of the three.  Once you've registered
your coined trademark, register the same name as your domain
name.  See the importance of making the mark suggestive, short
and memorable?  Obviously, in the process of creating your mark,
you should also check to make sure that the same domain name
is available also.

3.  Business Name

The least important and easiest of the three.  Here, though, the
suggestiveness of your trademark is more important.  Sure,
registering a business name is only to allow others to identify the
legal entity behind it but it's also the name that goes on your
letterhead so it needs to have some sort of meaning relevant to
the product or service that you're selling.  So when you're working
on your trademark/domain name, make sure that, in addition
to it being distinctive and memorable, it also suggests the type
of business or product/service involved.  Naturally, when you're
going through this process, also make sure the business name is
available in your county.  Of course, by conceiving a coined
name, you're almost guaranteeing that it won't already be taken.

Hopefully you can see that by thinking through the interrelatedness
of each of your business name, trademark and domain name
you can establish your business in such a way that each element
reinforces the others, thereby strengthening your brand.  Once
you have a firmly established brand, your marketing efforts become
a whole lot easier.  Promote the brand and you automatically promote
the product/service you offer, and vice versa.

There's no substitute for getting this bit right.  Do it right first time
and you won't have to waste time and resources two years from now
trying to bring your name, your trademarks and your domain names
into line.  The legal issues can be complex, however, and this is
one area where you should *definitely* consult your lawyer*.  The
relatively small cost you spend at this stage will pay off BIG TIME
down the track.


** Reprinting of this article is welcome! **

This article may be freely reproduced provided that: (1) you
use the autoresponder copy which contains a resource box;
(2) you leave the resource box intact; and (3) you only
mail to a 100% opt-in list.

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4.      Write-A-Book Tutorial - Part 3: Winning

by Steve Manning

Whew! I got literally dozens of writing samples from last week's
writing exercise! They were great!

Did you get a chance to do that writing exercise in the last lesson?
Geez, I hope so. If you didn't, you really should go back and try it.
You really will be shocked at the results. People all around the world
are almost always astonished.

If you did try it and you met with results you were less than happy
with, the reason--based on having done this with thousands of people
--is pretty obvious... you were thinking too much! During the five
minutes, did your pen stop moving at any time? Did your fingers
hesitate over the keyboard? That's when you were thinking!

Go back and try it again after you've finished reading this lesson.
Don't worry, I'll provide the hotlink at the bottom of this lesson (the
words, however, may be different! So be prepared!).

If you did write for five solid minutes, take a look at what you've
produced. Go ahead, read it to yourself. No, this isn't a trick. Your
writing is far better than you ever thought possible.

There are reasons for this and in the success program we get into
them fairly deeply.

But for now, all I want you to know is that you can write both
quickly and you can write well. But this is just the tip of the iceberg
as far as information I've got waiting for you.

Just as a teaser, I want to let you in on something. Did you write
2/3 of a page in those five minutes? Just about everyone does. If
not the first time, then certainly the second time. If you did, then
you'll have no trouble writing a 10-page chapter in just 75 minutes
worth of writing time. No, not in one go! I don't want you to end up
as a puddle on the floor! But 75 minutes of writing will give you a
10-page chapter for your book.

That's exciting. In the success program, I tell you exactly how to
develop your book from beginning to end, chapter by chapter,
whether it's fiction or non-fiction.

Unabashed self-promotion moment...

In the next few lessons, I'm going to be giving you a lot of information,
and I'm also going to try every way I can to get you to order the writing
success system, "How To Write A Book On Anything in 14 Days or
Less... Guaranteed!" Ironically, I'm doing them both for the same
reason: I want you to write your book. That's the reason I'm on this
earth, to help as many people as possible write as many books as
they can, or want to. So if I seem a little strident at times, it's not
because I have a mercenary agenda. It's because I'm absolutely
obsessed with helping you get that book of yours written and

Why Your Book Is The Magic Key For Unlimited Publicity and Low
Cost Promotion

The media's favorite interview is the celebrity. Like it or not, when
you become the author of a book, you also become a celebrity. You
get all the natural benefits that go with celebrity status.

Let me give you an example. As the editor of a small trade magazine,
I'm well known in a specific industry. Unknown beyond, but well known
within. I could be put on a credit card commercial, where they ask, "Do
you know this man?" Only in my industry would they say "Yes".

But in my industry, I can phone the editor of a journal and get a
response, immediately. At conferences, everyone wants to take me out
for dinner.

That kind of celebrity status pays off big. I have a friend who has similar
status in the medical profession. He is a regular guest of Question of the
Week on the six o'clock news. He is on the radio. He is in the
newspaper. Why? He wrote a book, so he is THE CELEBRITY.

When people ask me what they should write about, I tell them, quite
honestly, what you know about. And what do you know better than
your job? And, in doing so, you will be promoted to the top of your

With the techniques you'll discover it will take only a matter of days
to accomplish, and when you consider the alternatives, the choice
is obvious. So, if you're in a hurry, do yourself a favor and go to

I should also tell you that in your next lesson, I've got a very special
gift for you... Read that lesson. I don't want you to miss out now...

PS -- Promised you a repeat of that writing exercise, remember? Here's
the page again, but have your pen, paper and watch ready. The words
may have changed!


You can receive daily instalments of Steve's free Write-A-Book
tutorial by signing up at his website.

Click here to go to Steve's site:


Steve Manning is author of "How to Write A Book On Anything
In 14 Days Or Less ... Guaranteed! -- An Expert's Step-by-Step

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5.      Tips for Newbies

TIP #1: How to create a custom screen saver in Windows 98

Windows 98 has a cool feature that lets you create your own
dynamic screen savers using text, of all things. Here's how
it works.

1. Open your Display Properties dialog box by right clicking
a blank area of your desktop and selecting 'Properties'.
2. Click the Screen Saver tab.
3. From the Sreen Saver drop down box, select 3D text.
4. Click the Settings... button next to the drop down box.
5. In the 3D Text Setup dialog, click Chosse Font... and
select the Wingdings or Webdings font, and click OK to return
to the 3D Text Setup area.
6. In the Display area, click the Text radio button, and in the
field, type a letter. The letter you type will correspond to a
specific Webding or Winding character. Adjust any of the other
parameters in this dialog box, such as size, speed, and
7. Click OK. You'll see a preview in the mini monitor in the
Display Properties dialog box. Preview the image in real
size by clicking the Preview button.

You can change a lot of the parameters of the object displayed
by making the adjustments in the 3D text setup area. You can
even choose your own bitmap graphic for the texture of any
object using the Texture selector. Have fun with this one!

TIP #2: Taking stock of your property holdings.

Windows uses a management system that includes what's
called a 'Property Sheet' for each icon or file you see on
your computer. This is like describing the properties of a
pencil: It's cylindrical, made of wood, has an eraser at one
end, and a graphite writing tip at the other. So what are the
properties of the My Computer icon on your desktop? And how do
you find out?

Easy. Just RIGHT click the icon. In fact, you can RIGHT click
any icon or file on your computer, and a context menu will
appear. At the bottom of that menu will be the 'Properties'
item. A click there and you'll bring up the associated Property
Sheet for that item. Try it. You'll discover a lot of info about
your computer's files this way. Instead of calling it a 'Property
Sheet' you could call it a 'Property Window' if you wanted to.
Whatever. :-)


Tips by Tom Glander and Joe Robson of The Newbie
Club. The best Newbie Site ever to hit the Web.

7. Subscription Management


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If you find this newsletter valuable, please forward it
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9. Contact Information

Elena Fawkner, Editor
A Home-Based Business Online
Contact By Email
Work at Home Online

Copyright © 1999-2016 AHBBO Publishing
All Rights Reserved

Copyright 1998-2017, AHBBO.com. All rights are reserved. Wednesday, 08-Dec-2021 08:05:42 CST

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