Trademark Registration fees for MSME & Startups in India

  • Setindiabiz Team
  • April 14, 2023
Trademark Registration fee for Startups and MSMEs in India
Trademark Registration fees for MSME and Startups have been reduced by 50% compared to Trademark Registration fees for other entities. This has been done to ease the burden of Trademark Registration cost on these small-scale businesses and aid their easy Intellectual Property Protection. Let’s explore the new fees for Trademark Registration of MSME and Startups in this blog.
Trademarks are unique identifiers of a business brand and its products or services in the market. So, they need to be protected against intentional or unintentional theft, plagiarism, and misuse by unauthorized parties. Trademark Protection helps in building brand recognition and consumer loyalty ensuring consistent growth and expansion of a business with ease. To protect a Trademark, you need to get it registered with the Indian Trademark Registry under the Trademark Act of 1999. Even though the process of trademark registration is the same for all entities in India, the cost of Trademark registration is slightly varied for Individuals, registered MSME, and registered Startups.
Registered MSME and Startup businesses in India operate with limited resources and a marginal amount of capital. They generally operate at a smaller scale and cater to the local consumer demand only. So, you might often find an MSME or Startup struggling financially during the initial stages of their operations. Even their potential to grow, expand, and earn profits are quite restricted. Added to this, are the costs of mandatory legal and tax compliances, that increase the burden of MSMEs and Startups exponentially.
So, to assist these businesses in Trademark Protection, the Government has reduced the Startup & MSME trademark registration fees by a whopping 50%, compared to businesses of larger size and scale of operations. We have discussed the latest fees for trademark registration of MSMEs and Startups further in this blog. But to proceed to that discussion, it is necessary to first understand what Trademark Registration for MSME and Startups really is.

What is Trademark Registration for MSME?

MSME stands for micro, small and medium enterprises. These businesses have recently gained popularity due to their marginal investment needs, shorter gestation period, and supportive government initiatives. They play an important role in India’s economic development, especially by generating employment as labor-intensive businesses. Trademarks are valuable assets of these businesses as they can be used to protect their brand identity, build brand recognition, and enhance consumer loyalty for their products and services. So, it is extremely important to safeguard these Trademarks against plagiarism or unauthorized use, and Trademark Registration is the most effective way to do so.

Eligibility of Trademark Registration for MSME:

  1. MSME needs to be registered under the MSMED Act of 2006. This is also called Udyam Registration and can be obtained by applying on the online MSME portal.  
  2. MSME must have the Udyam Registration or MSME Registration Certificate as a conclusive proof of their registration under the MSMED Act. 
  3. MSME Registration Certificate must be valid and updated according to the current financial year.
As effective from 1st July 2022, a new definition of MSMEs has been drawn on the basis of net turnover, and net investments in plants, machineries, or equipment. This new definition serves as the basis of determining if a business classifies as MSME, is eligible for Udyam Registration, and is further eligible for Trademark Registration as MSME or not.
Types of Enterprises New Definition applicable to both goods & services based businesses
Micro Enterprises
Net investment in plant and machinery or equipment upto Rs. 1 crore and net turnover ≤ Rs. 5 crores
Small Enterprises
Net investment in plant and machinery or equipment ≤ Rs. 10 crores and net turnover ≤ Rs. 50 crores
Medium Enterprises
Net investment in plant and machinery or equipment ≤ Rs. 50 crores and net turnover ≤ Rs. 250 crores

What is Trademark Registration of Startups?

Startups in India are established under the famous Startup India Scheme, a flagship programme of the Indian government introduced in January 2016 with the aim to create a robust ecosystem for nurturing startups and their innovative products. The ultimate objective of this scheme is to achieve long-term economic growth and large-scale employment in India by supporting the growth of Startups and easing their burden of operations. One of the significant ways the government has achieved this is by reducing the cost of Trademark Registration for eligible Startups.

Eligibility of Trademark Registration for Startups:

  1. The Startup must be recognized by the Department of Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT)
  2. It must have the DPIIT Recognition Certificate as a conclusive proof of such recognition. 
  3. It must fulfill all the conditions of being classified as a Startup under the Startup India Scheme.
The eligibility conditions for businesses to be qualified for being registered as Startups under the Startup India Scheme, have been mentioned in the Gazette Notification issued by the DPIIT, on the 19th Of February, 2019. The conditions have been drawn on the basis of the date of incorporation, types of businesses, turnover limits, nature, and outcome of business activities. A list of all such eligibility conditions has been mentioned in the table below.
S.No. Eligibility conditions for businesses to get registered as Startups
1.
Businesses can exist as Startups for not more than 10 years since their incorporation
2.
An unincorporated entity cannot get recognized and registered as Startups
3.
Only registered Partnership firms, LLPs, and Private Limited Companies can be qualified as startups
4.
The turnover must not have crossed Rs.100 crores for any financial year since the inception of the business
5.
The business must either be involved in introducing new and innovative products in the market, or in improving existing products through technology
6.
The business should be established with the goal of earning profits, and generating employment
7.
Businesses must be original and not formed by splitting or reconstructing and existing businesses

Trademark Registration fee for Startups and MSMEs in India

A trademark ensures that the unique name, symbol or logo of a business or brand is protected from being misused or plagiarized by its fellow competitors in the market. Since the trademark is unique and original to the business, it also acts as its distinct source of identity and distinguishes it from other businesses in the market. MSMEs and Startups usually hesitate in getting their intellectual properties registered under the Trademark Act, fearing that it might increase their expenses to the extent of unaffordability. Hence, to encourage trademark registration by MSMEs and Startups, the government has reduced its fees by 50%.
The trademark Filing fees for all corporate entities other than MSME and Startups is Rs.9000/- per class per application. Considering that this amount is huge for small businesses like MSMEs and nascent businesses like startups, the government of India, in pursuance of the Trademark Rules, 2017, has reduced the trademark registration fees for MSME and Startups by a whopping 50%, to Rs.4,500 per class per application. The purpose of this reduction is to free up small businesses from the added expense of legal compliances like trademark registrations. Follow the table below to check out the detailed trademark fees for MSME & Startups in India.
Type of applicant Individual Applicant Non Individual Applicants (Company, LLP, Firm etc) MSME and Startup Availing 50% Concession
Trademark Filing Fee
₹ 4500/-
₹ 9000/-
₹ 4500/-
Trademark Offline Filing Fee
₹ 5,000/-
₹ 10,000/-
₹ 5,000/-
Conditions to apply for Trademark registration
No conditions applied
No conditions applied
Must possess Udyam or MSME Registration/ DPIIT Recognition Certificate

Trademark Registration Process for MSME & Startups

Prior to getting your trademark registered with the relevant authority, you must first identify and classify all the possible trademarks of your business correctly. The NICE classification System can help you do so. It classifies trademarks into 45 different classes based on the nature of goods / services it is being used or is intended to be used for. Out of these, classes 1 to 34 are dedicated to goods alone, and the rest are dedicated to services. This classification of trademarks applies to all corporate entities in India, including MSMEs and Startups. You can check out the entire list of all classes of trademarks here
Let us understand this with the help of an example-
For an MSME dealing with products related to leather, the entrepreneur will have to apply under class 18 of NICE since class 18 deals with trademarks of businesses dealing in Leather Goods. And in case of services if a particular service deals in Hotel, Restaurants, cafes, etc. then they will have to apply under class 43 in order to get their trademark registered, as class 43 under the NICE System deals with Hotels and Restaurants Services.
After proper classification, all you have to do is subscribe to our trademark registration package and avail of our services from the comfort of your home. Our trademark registration services are rendered by our highly qualified, skilled, and experienced team of dedicated IPR professionals, with expertise of decades in this field. Besides , our consultants will also help you identify and classify your Trademarks if you face any issues. 
The Application for Trademark Registration must be accompanied by certain supporting documents prescribed by law. Since the application is to be filed online, the required documents must also be uploaded online in their digital formats. A failure to furnish any of these documents might result in the rejection of the application, and might compel your MSME and Startup to file a new application for Trademark Registration again.
Here’s a list of all supporting documents required for trademark registration of MSMEs and Startups.
S.No. Documents required for Trademark Registration
1.
Address and ID proof of the applicant
2.
Certificate of Incorporation or partnership deed in case of unregistered Partnership Firm
3.
Proof of registered business address
4.
Copy of Trademark / Logo to be registered
5.
Udyam / Startup Registration Certificate

Trademark Registration benefits for MSME & Startups

benefits of TM for startups and MSMEs
S.No TM Registration benefits for Startups & MSMEs
1.
Protection Against Plagiarism and misuse
2.
A unique mark of identity
3.
Enhancement of Brand Credibility
4.
Products and Services are easily identifiable
5.
Effective branding and marketing strategy
Things you must know before applying for trademark registration of MSME & Startups
  • Before beginning the process of trademark registration, you must first identify all the possible trademarks related to your business. This may include the legal name, trade, name, logo, or product mark of the business
  • The next step in registering the MSME trademark is figuring out carefully which class to apply under. One has to check the NICE Classification system which contains over 45 different classes, out of which, the first 34 are for products and the remaining are for services. 
  • The trademark applications can be tricky at times for a layman and therefore it is better to take help from legal experts to ensure timely and correct registration of the trademark. The process is lengthy, sometimes taking up to 18 months, therefore it is advised to start the process as early as possible to avoid competitors taking advantage of your business. 
  • One must keep in mind that trademarks are not international and are limited only to the country where one has obtained it. In order to get your trademark registered in a foreign country, you will have to apply for trademark registration in that very country. Furthermore, trademarks are only valid for 10 years, after the expiry of which, business owners shall have to renew it. 
  • It should be noted that when applying for a trademark registration, the ™ symbol next to the mark can be used to indicate that an application has been filed. They can begin using the Ⓡ symbol next to the mark, once their application is approved and they receive a Trademark registration certificate.

With the benefits provided by various schemes, initiatives, and policies of the government, MSMEs and Startups have witnessed tremendous growth in India in the past few years. Reduction in the trade mark fees for MSME and Startups is also one of the significant ways by which the government has successfully reduced the burden of cost and expenses for these businesses, besides protecting their intellectual properties against misuse and plagiarism.

Not only does trademark registration provide protection to MSMEs and Startups, but also entitle them to sue parties that infringe on their intellectual property rights. Thus, it is for this reason, that we strongly recommend MSMEs and Startups in India obtain Trademark Registration at the concessional fees prescribed by the Government.

Conclusion

FAQs

Q1: Why is trademark registration important for MSMEs and Startups?

Trademark registration is crucial for MSMEs and Startups as it provides legal protection to their unique brand names, logos, and product names. It helps prevent plagiarism and misuse of a brand’s trademark by its competitors, enhances brand credibility, and allows the brand to establish its distinct identity in the market.

Q2: How does the reduced trademark registration fee benefit MSMEs and Startups?

The reduced trademark registration fee, which is 50% lower for MSMEs and Startups, helps alleviate the financial burden on these businesses. It enables them to protect their intellectual properties at a more affordable cost, encouraging them to secure legal rights and safeguards for their brands.

Q3: Can MSMEs and Startups avail the reduced trademark registration fee without any conditions?

Yes, MSMEs and Startups can avail the reduced fee for trademark registration without any specific conditions. However, they must possess the respective MSME or Startup registration certificate to qualify for the concessional fee.

Q4: What are the supporting documents required for trademark registration of MSMEs and Startups?

The supporting documents needed for trademark registration of MSMEs and Startups include the Udyam or Startup registration certificate, and the image of the trademark, if it is a device mark. Additionally, the power of attorney may be submitted if the filing is being done by an attorney on the applicant’s behalf.

Q5: Can trademark registration be done internationally for MSMEs and Startups?

Trademark registration is territorial, meaning it provides protection within the country where it is registered. To obtain international trademark protection, MSMEs and Startups need to file separate applications in each country where they seek protection. It is essential to consider the specific trademark laws and regulations of each country when pursuing international registration.
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