I offer freelance consulting on the side, and I am registered in my home town as "My Name DBA Business Name". I have trademarked my business name with the USPTO, and it has never been used by any other U.S. company.
I plan to makeover the business as a formal entity in the future, and I have some questions about naming rights.
(1) My state allows reserving a business name (renewable every 60 days for a fee). Is this necessary since I already hold a federal trademark on my business name and I am the first to use it in commerce?
(2) When filing as a corporation, my state recommends checking name availability by searching the state's corporate database and the state's trademark database. In its screening, is it common for a state to also search the PTO trademark database?
(3) I know that more than one entity may own a trademark on the same name; for example, if the class of goods/services is dissimilar. However, my state indicates that "a corporate name may not be the same as... the name of any other existing corporation". Who is given priority when filing as a corporation?
(4) When I am ready to file, would it be advisable to include a copy of my PTO registration certificate?