Hi, I'm Stephanie and I've helped people like you for over two decades.
ALWAYS register, trademark, copyright, etc. your brand as well as your real full name.
One of the clients I worked with literally became famous overnight after a national TV appearance, and someone dishonest had bought her real name on .biz etc. domains as well as a name similar to her business.
I can walk you through the steps you can take to ensure your brand stays YOUR brand without spending a ton of time or money - and also ways to help you succeed.
I would love to help you more with this soon, so please consider booking a follow-up call.
It really depends on how difficult it would be to rip off your brand and what resources you have to put towards the registration.
Ideally, you'd talk to an IP lawyer who could give you costs for the type of registration you are looking for (process or design patent, copyright, trade secret) and the markets that you intend to enter. A good lawyer can give you the approximate costs and sometimes even a "staged entry" to the different registrations based on how much you can afford.
The second part - what percentage of your resources you can put towards the registration, can only be decided based on what other needs the company has. Development costs, coding, design, etc.
Hopefully that helps start your way down the decision path.
Are you in the United States? Your business name is protected just by you using it, at least in proximity to where you are. For nationwide protection, a trademark registration would cost you around $400 for each category of goods or services you want to register the name for. Is that - given your budget and financial plans - very expensive? I'd wait then. As you have registered the internet domain name as well as the social media accounts and your business is online anyways, I'd say start and see how it develops.
Would you like to explore the opportunities of strengthening your brand and its values right from the start of your company? Consider to schedule a call with me; in just 15 minutes we can already achieve a lot!
Good luck with the new company!
You are right. I would focus on a "concierge MVP" offering first, to make sure you are going forward, before investing immediately in registering a trademark -- because that costs money. Whereas the domain is cheap, and the social accounts cost nothing. Happy to discuss trademarks if you're ready for that - my fees are less than 1/2 of what most lawyers charge for that work.
It is always a good idea to invest a little bit and secure a registered trademark - if you are in the US. Overseas, it depends on which country as each country has different laws in terms of copyrights and trademarks. Here is a link to a video that goes deep into how to secure your trademark and more: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-tjMdAgkvIE