How Much Does it Cost to Trade Mark a Business Name?
In Australia, a business name or company name is generally registered through the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC). However, registering your business name does not mean you have exclusive ownership of your business name. In addition to registering with ASIC, and if you want to have exclusive use of your brand, you may like to protect your brand by registering a trade mark over your business name.
This article explains the costs associated with applying to trade mark your business name.
What Type of Trade Mark Applications Can You Make?
In order to trade mark a business name you can make a:
- Standard Application, which has a one part payment process; or
- TM Headstart Application, which has a two part payment process.
TM Headstart Application
A TM Headstart Application is an online pre lodgement assessment that helps you ascertain whether you are going to have any issues with registering your trade mark before you formally file your application.
The first step of a TM Headstart Application is to pay your Part 1 fee, as set out in the table below.
|TM Headstart new request – per class (Part 1 fee)||$200|
|TM Headstart new representation – per class (Part 1 fee)||$150|
|TM Headstart additional class fee – per class (Part 1 fee)||$200|
|TM Headstart – per class (Part 2 fee)||$130|
After lodgement of your application you will be given an assessment result. After you consider this, you may elect to file your application and pay the Part 2 fee.
It is important to note that you only have five business days to respond to any assessment issues or else your application will discontinue. If this seems too short of a time frame, it might be worth considering a Standard Application.
For example, you file a TM Headstart Application and pay the Part 1 fee. You receive your assessment result and are unable to provide the additional information within five days. Your application is then discontinued and you need to re-lodge a TM Headstart Application or address the defect in your application and file a Standard Application, paying the Standard Application fees.
A standard Application can be lodged online by either using the picklist, or without the picklist. There are additional fees for lodging a Series Application (set out in the below table).
|Trade mark application (using picklist)||$250 per class|
|Trade mark application (not using picklist)||$400 per class|
|Series trade mark application (using picklist)||$400 per class|
|Series trade mark application (not using picklist)||$550 per class|
If your trade mark is accepted for registration and is not opposed by a third party (or, if you are opposed but come out as the successful party), the trade mark can then proceed to registration upon payment of final fees. These fees are usually $250 per class when using the picklist, or $400 per class without using the picklist. If you are lodging a Series Application (where you lodge a number of goods or services under the same application), there are higher fees.
What Happens When I Lodge an Application?
If you lodge a Headstart Application, pay the relevant fees and do not have any issues with your application, you generally will not have to pay any more once IP Australia issues you with a notice of acceptance of your trade mark. There is no fee for registration.
There is no registration fee associated with a Standard Application. However, you will not know whether you have issues with your application for several months. If there are no issues, and nobody objects to your trade mark, IP Australia issues you with a notice of acceptance of your trade mark and you have a registered trade mark.
In a simple application, the minimum period from application to registration is generally seven and a half months.
What if I Cannot Lodge Electronically?
IP Australia prefers electronic or online applications through their website. If you are not able to do this, there are options to lodge an application by mail. The fees for this are set out in the table below.
|Trade mark application (paper)||$450 per class|
|Series trade mark application (paper)||$600 per class|
Registering a business name with ASIC will not stop someone who has registered the name as a trade mark from using it. In fact, using a business name that is similar to someone else’s registered trade mark could cause you legal problems. Accordingly, you should always conduct a trade mark search before deciding on a business name. Additionally, it is worth considering whether you have the right information available to lodge a TM Headstart Application. If you require more trade mark legal assistance, contact our experienced trade mark lawyers on 1300 657 423 or fill out the form on this page.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, if you only register your business name with ASIC, you still need to file a trade mark application to protect your business name.
It depends on the application process you use. If you use the TM Headstart Application, you will generally have to pay $330.00. If you use the Standard Application process, for a simple, online and single class application you will generally have to pay $250.00.
Generally, the price to lodge your trade mark application offline will be $450.00 for each class you have.
Generally, there are two types of trade mark application processes you can use. These are the TM Headstart Application and the Standard Application.