Trade names and trademarks are commonly confused by small businesses and young entrepreneurs. The confusion usually occurs because many businesses use the name of the company, at least in part, as a trademark. Reserving a company name or registering a business entity with the Secretary of State or Division of Corporations does not provide trademark rights in the registered company name. Registering a business with the Secretary of State does not provide you with a trademark registration. Assuming trademark protection from registering a business name with the state can be a costly mistake. To avoid this mistake, it is helpful to understand the difference between trademarks and trade names.