I am currently in the process of developing a web application. So I am wondering if I should
- register my LLC (or S-Corp)
- register the app copyright
- file the app trademark (as well as company trademark)
Or does it really matter?
Copyright is automatic. There's nothing to do there.
Registering a trademark is also not strictly necessary because common law rights to a trademark attach through actual use. However, registering does confer certain benefits, but I suspect it's early days for that. It's probably a good idea to do some internet searching to make sure that you're not infringing on someone ELSE'S trademark or you'll get a nasty letter from them.
Incorporating, or forming an LLC, limits your personal liability, so you should probably do that right away.
If you plan to have patents, you do need to file for them before you put a product into the market.
Nolo has a good book about patents, trademarks, and copyright which is worth reading once before you get into a business that needs any of those things.
At this stage in the organization process, you must choose a name for your LLC. Understand, of course, that you may use a trade name in the public marketplace other than your LLC's name. This is called doing business as (DBA) a fictitious name. For example, a company could operate a store under the trade name Evolution, but the LLC's name could be Evolution Trade Group LLC, or any other name. The single greatest consideration when choosing a name is ensuring that no other person or entity is currently using the name. This consideration is guided by two factors. First, your use of a company name may infringe on the trademark or service mark rights of others. Infringing on the trademark rights of others may result in legal complications. Second, the secretary of state's office will not register a new LLC with the same name as an existing LLC. Keep in mind, however, that a secretary of state's office will have existing records only for company names in that state-the office will have no records for company names in the other 49 states. Thus, you may wish to search for existing trademarks and LLC names to ensure that your desired name is available.
Best to have your lawyer answer this question.
While there are lots of individual reasons to consider whether to register as an LLC / S corp or act a a sole proprietorship, many weigh the level of (legal / fiduciary) risk you want to individually take on. Here's a quick video on the differences.
Copyrights & trademarks can be important depending on the company - doing a simple trademark search and securing a trademark isn't that difficult of a process (if limited to the US).
IMHO, What type of business you wish to operate should be decided prior to launch - trademark information should be done in conjunction with the business creation (you don't want to create a company name and then have to change it due to conflict afterwards) and ensure that copyright notices are properly attributed to the organization.