What agreement contract do I need if someone granted me permission to use their name for a business? 3 Answers as of August 12, 2015

A friend of mine has a very unusual nickname which seemed fitting for my web company. I have asked her permission to make use of it and she agreed, if I pay her 5% of profits (if I make any). I am more than willing to make this deal as the name means much more to me. What kind of agreement or contract do I need to make with her to make it more "foolproof" and not screw each other in the deal. I just don't like the verbal "gentleman's agreement" we have and would like it on paper.

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Banner & Witcoff, Ltd. | Ernie Linek
A simple written agreement - stating the agreed terms - signed by both parties and notarized should be adequate. You may also want to check the trademark database at the US Patent & Trademark Office - www.uspto.gov - to be sure nobody has taken your friend's nickname as a trademark. GOOD LUCK.
Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
Replied: 8/12/2015
Sebby Law Office
Sebby Law Office | Jayne Sebby
Can I be your friend's attorney? She's a very astute negotiator. If your business is at all successful, she going to walk away with a chunk of money without doing anything. This can be easily handled with a written agreement that covers all aspects of your agreement both in the immediate start-up period and for the long term. I recommend working with an attorney because this is the kind of thing that can come back to cause a lot of trouble.
Answer Applies to: Nebraska
Replied: 8/11/2015
Law Office of Kirk Buhler
Law Office of Kirk Buhler | Kirk A Buhler
It appears that she has no ownership of the name. Ownership would be from a registered trademark that gives the owner of the mark the rights to exclude others from using the mark. You should also make sure that the name is not owned by someone other than your friend. It is possible that your friend does not own the rights to the name. The contract would be an assignment of her rights to you. Generally an assignment document must be notarized.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 8/11/2015
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