Perform a background search in order to determine if anyone is using your proposed service mark. Begin by searching in the United States Patent Office's Trademark Electronic Search System, TESS. Keep in mind that the TESS system only covers trademarks and service marks registered with the United States Patent and Trademark Office, or the USPTO.
Search state trademark databases, the Internet, phone books and general business listings for service marks like yours. An in-depth search is necessary as someone may already be using your proposed service mark without federal registration, and this could cause potential conflicts or the invalidation of your service mark application.
Complete the application for your service mark registration with the USPTO. You may complete the form online by using the TEAS system or you may obtain a paper form directly from the USPTO. Provide the USPTO with your background information, the name of your service mark, a description of the services you will be offering with your mark, and the date you began using your mark to identify your services. You will not be required to complete the logo portion of the application unless you have a graphic logo for your service mark. The same form is used for both trademarks and service marks.
Provide the USPTO with a specimen showing the use of your mark in commerce. Any materials showing the use of your mark, including a picture of a sign identifying your business on a storefront, will suffice.
Pay the requisite filing fee to the USPTO. The fee is less expensive for online applications.