When starting a new business, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by all the things you think you need. But sometimes…the things we think we need are actually just a complete waste of money.

I get a lot of emails and messages from people who want help with forming an LLC and registering a trademark for their new businesses. Eventually, it will come out that they’re working with a super tight budget; barely getting by as it is, struggling to pay their bills and put food on the table. If you’re trying to start a business on a budget, you want to be sure you’re allocating your funds strategically.

Is it a good idea to form an LLC for your new business? Sure. Can a trademark registration help secure and protect your new business’s name and logo? Of course! But just because they seem like a good idea doesn’t mean you actually need them. These are two huge mistakes that new businesses make that can end up being a complete and utter waste of time and money.

An example: Somebody, we’ll call him Joe, recently reached out to me seeking help with a  trademark application. Joe filed the trademark application on his own and wanted help with an Office Action that was issued by the USPTO. After I responded to Joe with my typical rate for that service, he informed me that he was living paycheck-to-paycheck and didn’t have it in his budget to hire me.

Even if you DIY your trademark application, it is going to cost you at least $250 to file a trademark application with the USPTO.

So what’s my point? If you’re barely getting by and struggling to take care of yourself and your family, whyyyy would you waste $250 on a trademark application?! Listen, of course, it’s a great idea to form an LLC if you’re starting a business. Registering a trademark is a great way to protect your business name, logo, or whatever it is.

But you do not need an LLC to start a business. And you do not need a registered trademark to start a business. Rather than wasting your money on these two huge mistakes that new businesses make, use that money on the things you actually need in order to start your business and actually start making some money.

Tune in to this week’s episode of All Up In Yo’ Business to learn about these (and more!) common mistakes that new businesses make. And be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel for more All Up In Yo’ Business! 

Want more information on business? Check out: Does My Business Need an EIN?