How to Register My LLC Copyright

By Jennifer Kiesewetter, J.D.

How to Register My LLC Copyright

By Jennifer Kiesewetter, J.D.

A copyright is a form of intellectual property giving protection to the owner of original works of authorship and other forms of expression. To be protected by copyright, you should fix the original work in a tangible medium of expression, such as a book or a recording. Copyright does not protect ideas, facts, methods or operation, or systems but would defend these items if the creator expresses them as original works.

Smiling woman with a rack of clothing behind her and a measuring tape around her neck using a laptop

Copyright Registration

Registration of a copyright is voluntary. Your original work receives copyright protection from the moment it's created and fixed in tangible form, as set forth under the U.S. copyright laws. However, to enforce your copyright for infringement, you'll need to register your copyright.

U.S. copyright laws provide many benefits for registration. For example, by registering your copyright, you have a public record of your particular copyright. Thus, the public is on notice that your copyright exists for your original work.

However, U.S. copyright laws don't protect every original work. Before you can register your LLC copyright, you should understand what you can copyright.

Copyrightable Works

The following original works can be copyrighted:

  • Musical works, including lyrics
  • Literary works, including computer programs
  • Online blogs and articles
  • Pictures and graphics
  • Choreography, if recorded
  • Movies
  • Sculptures and visual art
  • Architectural works
  • Audio recordings

The following original works cannot be copyrighted:

  • Any work that isn't fixed in a tangible medium of expression
  • Business names, slogans, titles, and short phrases
  • Website domain names
  • Lettering, colors, familiar symbols or designs, specific typography
  • Works in the public domain
  • Ideas, systems, concepts, or principles

Applying to Register a Copyright

 

To register your copyright, you can file online with the U.S. Copyright Office. To submit an online application, you can register through the electronic Copyright Office (eCO) for basic claims including literary works, performing arts works, and visual arts works. Filing online requires a filing fee based on the number of authors and includes online status tracking.

To register your copyright using a paper application, you can complete fill-in forms obtained from the U.S. Copyright Office. You can also complete blank forms by hand if you prefer. Completing a paper application usually has a higher fee than filing online and the processing time is often slower. For each way to register, you must attach copies of your creative work in an appropriate medium.

When Your Copyright Takes Effect

Your registered copyright is effective on the date the Copyright Office receives your completed application and filing fee. Therefore, no matter how long it takes for the Copyright Office to process your application, your copyright is effective upon receipt, not processing.

For websites, your copyright effective date works differently. Anytime you add new content to your site, such as adding a new blog post or updating an employee's biography, you must update your copyright date. Make sure you update your website's copyright through the current year.

You're continually creating original works in tangible mediums of expression for your LLC. As a business owner, you create new content on your website, send out newsletters for business development, create video blogs for potential clients and customers, or write software programs. Because there are differences in what types of original works you can copyright, you can hire an online service provider to assist you in understanding the law or by explaining how to protect yourself. Doing so helps save you time and gives you peace of mind knowing you're protected as a growing business.

This portion of the site is for informational purposes only. The content is not legal advice. The statements and opinions are the expression of author, not LegalZoom, and have not been evaluated by LegalZoom for accuracy, completeness, or changes in the law.