How to Copyright a Business Plan

By A.L. Kennedy

A business plan lays out the steps you plan to take to make a business grow. Although registering a copyright for a business plan is not required, registration can help protect your business plan from plagiarism or unauthorized copying. A copyright will protect the text and images of your business plan, but it will not protect the ideas the text expresses. If you have created a new business method that you want to protect, consider getting a patent on the method.

Step 1

Make at least two copies of your business plan. These copies can be on paper, or they can be stored electronically on a CD-ROM. Do not store the copies on a floppy disk, a zip disk, or a flash drive, since the U.S. Copyright Office will not accept these formats. You will need to send two copies of your business plan to the U.S. Copyright Office when you register your copyright, so make enough copies so that you will have some left over after you register.

Step 2

Choose the type of form you wish to use to register your copyright. Since a business plan is primarily a textual work, the U.S. Copyright Office provides two different ways to register. You may register online using Form eCO, available through the U.S. Copyright Office website. You may also register by filling out paper Form CO. If you use Form CO, you must also use paper Form TX for textual works. The paper forms can be downloaded from the U.S. Copyright Office website.

Protect against infringement by registering a copyright. Get Started Now

Step 3

Decide whether to register the copyright in the business plan's images, if any, separately. This is not required, but it may be valuable if you plan to use any pictures, graphs, diagrams, or other visuals separately from the business plan as a whole. If you decide to register the images separately, you will need to fill out a separate Form eCO or a separate Form CO and Form VA, for visual works, and pay a separate registration fee for each image.

Step 4

Submit the required items to the U.S. Copyright Office. If you are registering your copyright only in the business plan as a whole, submit two copies of the business plan, either Form eCO or Form CO and Form TX, and the registration fee. As of 2011, the U.S. Copyright Office required a $35 registration fee for works registered on Form eCO and a $50 fee for works registered on Form CO. If you are registering one or more images separately from the business plan, submit the items listed above, plus two copies of each image and another Form eCO or Form CO and Form VA and another registration fee for each image.

Protect against infringement by registering a copyright. Get Started Now
How to Get a Copyright for an Instrumental



Related articles

How to Register a Trade Name With the United States Government

Business owners are not required to register trade names with the U.S. government, but registration offers several benefits. Registering your trade name prohibits other businesses from using the same trade name, and also provides a public record that you own the trademark to your trade name. This record can act as a deterrent to trademark infringement. Trade names are registered through the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

How to Copyright a CD

The material on your CD -- music, lyrics and songs -- is automatically protected by U.S. copyright law from the moment you record your material. You are not required to register your songs with the U.S. Copyright Office to legally claim them. However, filing a copyright application for your songs does provide more legal protections for them, including establishing public proof that your songs belong to you.

How to Copyright Music & Lyrics

Songwriters and composers invest enormous amounts of time and creative energy into developing new musical works. Copyright provides legal protection to ensure that others can not exploit that creative effort by using music and lyrics without the permission of the songwriter or composer. The U.S. Copyright Office has made it relatively simple to register the copyright of music and lyrics in one filing.

Related articles

How to Copyright Pictures

Pictures, either created as artwork or taken with a camera, can have their copyrights registered with the U.S. ...

How to Register My LLC Copyright

Copyright is the exclusive right to copy, distribute or adapt a creative work. This right can belong to the artist who ...

How to Copyright Choreography

A copyright affords protection to creators and owners of unique intellectual property that is fixed in some permanent, ...

How Close Can a Logo Be & Not Be a Copyright Infringement?

Federal copyright law protects original works of art and design used commercially, such as logos. If the copyright is ...

Browse by category
Ready to Begin? GET STARTED