It is easy to think of yourself as a small, local business, especially if you never leave the house to run it. However, the reality is the second you create a website you are operating in the global marketplace.
This also means you are subject to many of the same laws and regulations as huge multi-national corporations. Consider all the places where you plan to manufacture, transport, and distribute products. You should understand the rules relating to importing and exporting in each of these jurisdictions.
For example, consider the following questions:
- Does the item being imported comply with requirements laid out by the Consumer Product Safety Commission?
- Have you obtained all necessary licenses, permits, and registrations from federal and state government agencies?
- Is the packaging in English on imported items for resale?
- Do food items contain the required nutritional labeling?
- If part of your product is made overseas, what is the country of origin for the final product?
It’s also crucial not to limit your trademark search to the United States when branding your products. You may not have plans to expand outside the country now, but you could find it is a valuable growth opportunity in the future. If you learn that your brand conflicts with the rights of international brands, you may find yourself facing an expensive rebranding process before you can expand into international markets.
Consult with an intellectual property lawyer who can help you prepare for global considerations.