The name you choose for a new business is often among its most valuable assets—one well worth protecting. By trademarking your company name with the United States Patent Trademark Office (USPTO), you gain nationwide protection against competing businesses that may be inclined to use a similar name.
Here's what you can expect to pay for state business name registration or federal trademark registration.
The trademark process
Once your business name is granted trademark protection, you can protect it from being used by another person or entity in a similar line of business. The process for trademarking a name at the federal level begins with conducting a trademark search to ferret out any potential conflicts.
Assuming there are no conflicts, you'll then need to complete an application for trademark registration with the USPTO. In the application, you must identify the mark as well as the class of services or goods for which it will be used in commerce.
If your application is approved, the USPTO grants a mark for your business name, it then gains federal trademark protection against infringement on a national level, and allows you to affix the prestigious ® symbol to your goods and services.
It also provides you a leg up if it becomes necessary for you to enforce your mark in an infringement action lodged in federal court. The trademark for your business' name is valid for a period of 10 years, after which time you must file an application for renewal.
Fees to trademark a business name
When filing an application to trademark your business name on a federal level through the USPTO, you should count on paying between $250 and $750.
According to the USPTO website, the trademark fees you'll pay depend on:
- The number of trademarks you seek
- The number of classes of goods and services you intend to register under.
An applicant may only apply for a single trademark in an application. The cost to file an application is generally $250-$350.
Filing cost of a trademark application online
The USPTO prefers that applicants file electronically through the Trademark Electronic Application System (TEAS).
The fees for electronically filed trademark applications generally range from $250 to $350 for each class of goods or services.
Filing cost of a paper application form
While the more popular and suggested method of filing a trademark registration application involves the use of the TEAS, you can also file a "paper" application form with the USPTO in certain circumstances.
The cost to file a paper trademark application is normally $750 for each class of services or goods.
No matter which filing method you choose, keep in mind that the filing fee is not reimbursed to you in the event the USPTO denies your application to trademark a business name.
After the 10-year trademarking period has expired, the fee for applying to renew your mark can be as high as $300 to file electronically, and $500 to file a paper application.
In addition to the filing fees, in the event you decide to retain a trademark attorney to assist you with the trademark application filing and registration process, you should add another $600 to $3,000 to your budget to cover those fees.
Enforcing your trademark rights is your responsibility. It's important to monitor your trademark and act promptly if you believe someone is infringing on it.