How Do I Register My Brand Name in Australia?
Are you a business owner? Do you have a brand name that you would like to protect?
When you start a business, it is vital to protect your brand. You can do this in several ways. For example, you can register a business name, file a trade mark application or do both. Registering a business name will not stop others from using that brand name in the marketplace. However, registering a trade mark will. This article sets out how to protect your brand name in Australia by explaining how to register your:
- business name; and
- brand name as a trade mark.
Registering a Business Name
You must register a business name through the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC). Registering your business name through ASIC gives you the right to trade under that name.
Importantly, you are not allowed to register a name that another business has already registered. This includes registering a business name that is too similar to another registered name. However, simply registering the business name will not protect you from other parties who have trade marked that name.
Registering your business name attracts a fee. These fees can be found on the ASIC website.
Before Registering a Trade Mark
In order to register a trade mark for your brand name in Australia, you should:
- search IP Australia’s trade mark registration search system to check whether your trade mark is still available;
- apply as an individual or as a company (including incorporated associations); and
- be using, or be planning to use, the trade mark.
Doing this early review can help you make sure there is no trade mark already registered over your brand. This will save you time and money and ensure that you can register your business name.
Cost of Trade Marking Your Brand Name
The price for a trade mark application varies depending on the type of application and the number of classes you choose. You have the option of lodging a TM Headstart application or a standard application. IP Australia’s fees for trade mark application are listed below.
Standard Application Fees
|Application||Fee per class|
|Trade mark application, using the picklist||$250|
|Trade mark application, without using the picklist||$400|
|Series trade mark application, using the picklist||$400|
|Series trade mark application, without using the picklist||$550|
TM Headstart Application Fees
|New TM Headstart application – Part 1 fee per class||$200|
|New TM Headstart representation – Part 1 fee per class||$150|
|Additional class for TM Headstart – Part 1 fee per class||$200|
|TM Headstart – Part 2 fee per class||$130|
Both of the above fee structures assume you lodge online and electronically. If you are not able to lodge online, then a more expensive, offline application is available.
Timeframe for Registering a Trade Mark
After you have lodged your application and paid the application fee, IP Australia usually takes three months to examine it and provide a response. If you lodge using the TM Headstart application, the time frames are shorter and you also have a shorter time to respond (usually five days).
Once IP Australia accepts your trade mark, it will notify you in writing. Your trade mark is then advertised in the Australian Trade Mark Journal.
Renewing Your Trade Mark
Every 10 years, you will need to renew your trade mark. IP Australia allows you to renew your trade mark up to:
- 12 months before expiry; and
- six months after your trade mark expires.
However, if you renew late, you will pay additional fees.
Before deciding to register your brand name in Australia, you should consider whether:
- other people or businesses are using your brand name as their business name or as a trade mark;
- you would like to register your brand as a business name or as a trade mark (or both); and
- your budget allows you to register your brand name.
Frequently Asked Questions
You can, but one does not preclude the other. You need to make sure nobody else is using your brand name or business name before lodging a business name application or a trade mark application.
For standard applications, the price per class when using the pick list is $250.
IP Australia generally takes between three and four months to review and provide a decision on a standard application.